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'Champions League' of school leaders to recruit 100 heads

Ministers have announced that 100 “exceptional” school leaders, dubbed a “Champions League” of headteachers, will be recruited to improve some of England’s worst performing schools.

Officially known as the government’s Talented Leaders programme, the scheme will aim to recruit 100 of the country’s best school leaders and place them in schools facing the toughest challenges. 

The first recruits will be deployed next September in 13 areas of the country with low results, including North Lincolnshire, Suffolk, Bradford and Blackpool.

The project has echoes of proposals put forward by Ofsted chief inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw, who last week told TES he hoped to create a new “exceptional” category for headteachers that go the extra mile and help turn around failing schools.

Sir Michael said he would be speaking to education secretary Nicky Morgan about funding the programme, as he hoped to offer heads a financial incentive to take on a struggling school.     

The Talented Leaders initiative will not be handing out any pay rises to its recruits, however. 

Launching the scheme, schools minister David Laws called on the country’s best school leaders to apply to become a Talented Leader.

“If you are a head or an aspiring head who already has a proven track record of raising standards and improving the education offered to all children and you think you have what it takes to make a real difference to a school in need of a great leader then we want to hear from you,” Mr Laws said. 

Deputy prime minister Nick Clegg described the programme as a “Champions League” of headteachers when he first announced the idea back in October last year.

Related stories:

Heads in the role of Alex Ferguson? Nick Clegg plans "champions' league" of school leaders - October 2013

Ofsted to create up to 100 'exceptional' heads a year - Sept 2014



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