Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

To Lose One Head May Be Regarded as a Misfortune

Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

To Lose One Head May Be Regarded as a Misfortune

Article excerpt

It's an interesting time to be headteacher - or not be a headteacher. Many schools are struggling to recruit as insufficient numbers of candidates put themselves forward for the top job. The accountability system - along with the high stakes - can leave heads feeling more nervous about their long-term prospects than one of Henry VIII's wives.

Against this backdrop, how anyone in government thought it would be a good idea to threaten primary leaders with the sack if pupils didn't know their times tables is simply staggering. Especially, coming as it did, just before the results and proposed solutions to the Workload Challenge.

In their response, education secretary Nicky Morgan and deputy prime minister Nick Clegg even acknowledged that "pressure from outside is a major factor - pressure from school leaders, from Ofsted (whether real or perceived) and, yes, from government". Left hand, right hand, anyone? Perhaps someone could supply ministers with mittens suitably marked to make things easier.

With all this going on, it didn't come as much of a surprise at the weekend to hear from the Future Leaders Trust about the "missing" women in leadership positions in England's schools. In a profession that is 74 per cent female, just 65 per cent of the top posts are held by women (see bit.ly/FemaleHeads). If this were reflected in leadership roles there would be 1,739 more female headteachers. This bleak picture has stubbornly failed to change for five years.

It would be pleasing to think that perhaps these women are the smart ones, hiding behind a stack of marking hoping no one will see them and ask them to put their hands up for promotion. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.