EDUCATION: Association Raises Fears over Role of Headteachers

Article excerpt

Headteachers could become a thing of the past with schools run by chief executives or health service administrators in future.

Members of the National Association of Head Teachers called on the Government to "come clean" over their plans for how schools will be managed in the future.

The warnings followed NAHT research which suggested that up to half a million children in England and Wales are already in schools without permanent headteachers.

Heads at the NAHT's annual conference in Harro-gate claimed the recruitment crisis would be solved by appointing managers from health and social services - not education - to run schools.

Alan Stockley, head of Landywood Primary School in Great Wyrley, Staffordshire, suggested Education Secretary Ruth Kelly's plans to extend school hours would undermine the role of the headteacher.

Ms Kelly wants schools to be open from 8am to 6pm, offering childcare facilities and after school clubs.

"We are not going to see school leaders from education, " Mr Stockley said. "We are going to see school leaders from health and social services. Is this really what we want?"

Tim Benson, head of Nelson Primary School in East Ham, said primary schools were particularly vulnerable. …