Acting up

WHO appoints acting heads? When our head left, the governors clearly expected me as deputy to stand in, but the local education authority insists that a head from a nearby school should take over until an appointment is made.

I WONDER what the authority is doing about the vacancy it has created at the other school!

There are no specific regulations covering the appointment of acting heads, but we must assume that the responsibility for their appointment rests, as it does for permanent heads, with governing bodies.

We must also assume that the chief education officer has the right to be consulted and advise on suitable candidates.

The authority certainl does not have the power to impose an appointment, but, having said that, the power of persuasion may be considerable. If, for example, the school is failing, the authority may well make its support for the recovery process conditional upon its advice on leadership being heard. Even the suggestion that the LEA will take no responsibility for the consequences of a particular appointment may make governors think twice.

If the objection to the appointment is very strong, the LEA has the ultimate sanction of withdrawing delegated powers from the school, although, if the school protests, the council might have to justify the decision to the Secretary of State.

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