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'We don't need a nanny';Goodbye to GM

Treat us like adults, not naughty children, is the plea from grant-maintained heads.

They are determined to retain their autonomy once their sector is scrapped. "We don't want interference or a massive administration," said an Essex primary head.

"Essex has taken on 40 staff to service the GM sector. It's back to the old days when nothing ever got done."

Only 97 heads responding to The TES survey said they feared recriminations, but many heads complain of jibes such as: "Welcome back to the real world."

One South-east infant school claimed: "LEA inspectors are advising staff from other schools not to apply for our posts."

Five authorities were praised for the relationships they had developed with the GM schools - Kent, Lincolnshire, Warwickshire, Rutland and Wolverhampton.

Not all Kent schools agreed, though. The head of a grammar school was afraid of "being subsumed into an LEA black hole of inefficiency, aloofness and nannying".

Leader, 16 The GM legacy, 22-26

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