Ahead by a head

One head is better than two, or at least some authorities seem to think so. Others are not so sure and prefer the standard model of one primary head for one school. At issue is the long-standing concern of primary headteachers in hundreds of small schools about their workload and its impact on their leadership, management and health.(page 3) Moray Council this week for the second time in six months attempted an interesting and imaginative solution but as they once said on the BBC's Yes Minister comedy, "interesting and imaginative are the two most damning comments". So it proved.

The problem of teaching heads, dividing their time between class work and management will continue. South Ayrshire was first to experiment but has ditched its initiative. Borders is the most convinced and believes it can work effectively, although it is not a cheaper option. But pupils do better because they have a single, full-time teacher. That is an important consideration as primary heads have more duties heaped upon them - anything from negotiating with staff on McCrone issues to rooting out incompetent teachers.

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