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Bristol - Baby boom head vacancies filled

Bristol education bosses who faced a succession crisis have now filled all their empty posts.

Headteacher retirements across the UK this year remained static, despite warnings that most baby boomers would leave their jobs. But officials in Bristol predict that 2009 will turn out to be the peak of the recruitment crisis.

About 21 posts have been filled by deputies or heads already working in the city. Nine new heads are from other areas.

The city council's recruitment campaign included co-ordinated job advertisements, working in co-operation with governing bodies, a brochure for those considering posts, and special assessment centres for prospective candidates. New heads will be supported by an induction programme this year.

Mary Wyatt, who has taken over at Millpond Primary in the Baptist Mills area of the city, took part in the council's associate heads programme to prepare future leaders.

"The programme has helped me prepare for the challenges of headship," she said. "I am really excited at the opportunity to work with everyone at Millpond to make a difference for our children."

Councillor Clare Campion-Smith, cabinet member for children and young people, said: "I'm delighted that all our primary schools have started the new academic year with a headteacher in post.

"We have a good mix of home-grown talent and leaders who are choosing to come and work in Bristol.

"We expect that recruitment will continue to be an issue for schools across the country, which is why we are already planning to spot and nurture future school leaders." KM.

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