Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Fear and Loathing in an Annual Union Conference: Letters[1]

Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Fear and Loathing in an Annual Union Conference: Letters[1]

Article excerpt

I feel compelled to express my feelings after reading the press coverage from the recent annual conference of the NAHT headteachers' union. I have led a school since 2009 and I have always loved children and learning, but things have changed. I feel under constant pressure to survive. I fear the changing inspection process and struggle to remember why I am leading a school. The staff and children effectively rescue me daily and convert my glass from half empty to half full. I chose to lead but I don't want just to survive.

In the past three years there have been huge changes in education. A culture of fear exists. No matter how committed you are, a difficult school inspection can change everything. You can feel that you are on your own - and, ultimately, you are. Local authorities have all but gone and if you are failing you will be expected to move on and the school will be sponsored.

But I have found a way to bring some sense to it all. A year ago, my school joined five others locally and we became a cooperative trust. For the first time in a while we have someone else. …

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