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Sympathy for the devil

School leaders are being unfairly demonised by teachers struggling under the burden of excessive workload and high-stakes accountability, writes Mark Roberts. Here, the assistant head warns that, as a result of this toxic narrative, schools will be left facing a huge shortage of senior leaders because good teachers are being put off joining SLTs for fear they will be selling their soul to the ‘dark side’

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I am your worst nightmare. My heart is made of ice. Brandishing my walkie-talkie like some sort of improvised explosive device, I stalk the corridors, searching for signs of weakness. Or I hide in my office, making decisions about your future based on a spreadsheet column switching from amber to red, my shiny suit glistening under the flickering strip lights.

For I am a senior leader, and I am coming for your teaching soul…

You might laugh at this description. You might say: “I’m a teacher and I would never make out that SLT are really like that.” But just think back. That whispered ...

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