I suspect that the majority of headteachers do not feel comfortable with the concept of the market place in the school sector. All of those who are now holding senior positions in schools started their careers at a time when teachers felt themselves to be part of a public service dedicated to improving education for all children in the country. True, your immediate commitment was to the school in which you were teaching and in particular to those pupils in your classes. ‘Pride in the school’ was a theme frequently mentioned at assemblies and prize days but it was predominantly aimed at raising the level of behaviour and performance of the individuals in the school (and reducing the time spent by heads on fielding complaints from local residents) rather than enabling the school to compete against other schools, other than in the specific area of sports fixtures.