Views from other schools: Straw poll suggests White Paper has failed to persuade more schools to move away from local authority control

BARRY HILDITCH, head teacher of Royston Comprehensive School, Barnsley: 'We will have to . . . weigh up the pluses and minuses of opting out. On the plus side we will have direct control of any money that comes to the school.

'But the one great advantage of local authorities is that schools know how many kids they are going to get.'

MICHAEL ROUND, head of Hayling Manor High School, Croydon: 'At the moment we get a better deal from the local education authority. I think the White Paper is mostly wind, and says a number of things which are totally untrue. It is based on the absurdity that, willy-nilly, parents know best about what their children want. It reminds me of some of Stalin's speeches on his five-year-plan.'

JOHN McNICHOLAS, head of Molescroft County Primary School, Beverley, Humberside: 'The idea that one governing body should be responsible for several schools is absurd. We had joint governing bodies in Humberside 20 years ago and we got rid of them because they were stupid - governors have enough to do already.

'If you work in a good local authority, and most local authorities are good, then where is the incentive to opt out? It says something about how well Tory authorities run their schools that most of the ones that have opted out have left Tory control.'

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