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Too many heads on the block

A culture of extreme risk aversion among the authorities to which headteachers are held accountable is leading to many good school leaders being hung out to dry for minor incidents, writes Mike Waters

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Heads are vulnerable: more so now than they ever have been. Over the past few years, I’ve witnessed more heads than I care to count experiencing sudden and shocking threats to their careers and wellbeing. Many have lost their jobs through no – or virtually no – fault of their own. Most of these have been successful heads with excellent track records. Some have just “disappeared” – at least, as far as their staff and parents are concerned.

What’s happening?

Fundamentally, the issue is an existential one and there are several drivers. The first is fear. It takes the form of extreme risk ...

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