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Who will lead the school leaders?;News;News amp; Opinion

NOTTINGHAM University may already have bagged the National College for School Leadership, but the race to be leader of the so-called "Sandhurst for heads" is still very much alive.

According to the Prime Minister, the college - which will offer residential courses and on-line training for headteachers - could "revolutionise our schools".

The new director who will try to achieve these high ambitions has yet to be chosen. The TES understands Canadian school improvement guru Michael Fullen has already turned the job down, but it seems the following British names are in contention:

Dame Pat Collarbone: a former head of Haggerston girls' school in Hackney, and head of the London Leadership Centre at the Institute of Education. She is a special adviser to the Department for Education and Employment and is leading a review of the National Professional Qualification for Headship.

David Reynolds: professor of education, who recently defected from Newcastle University to Loughborough. Another adviser to the DFEE, he headed the Government's numeracy task force and is working alongside Pat Collarbone looking at the Green Paper teaching reforms.

Sir Geoff Hampton: knighted for his work turning round Northicote school, Wolverhampton, is now head of Wolverhampton University's school of education. One of Tony Blair's favourites, he recently gave a Millennium Lecture on education at 10 Downing Street. He will hope his chances are not damaged by the inspectors' recent savaging of Wolverhampton's BEd courses.

Sir Bob Salisbury: head-teacher of Garibaldi school, Mansfield. Has provoked admiration among ministers for his success in turning around the school with the help of the private sector. One of his initiatives was to employ a public relations firm to market the school to parents.

Mary Marsh: another headteacher with business expertise, Marsh is head of Holland Park school, west London. A regular TES contributor, Ms Marsh has been a champion of on-line learning and has a Masters in Business Administration. She moves easily between the public and private sectors, and was deputy head of St Christopher school in Letchworth - a progressive independent school

Sir Lyndon Jones: recently retired as head of Harris city technology college in Upper Norwood, south London, he has been put forward as another strong contender.

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