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Entice a leader with a webvert

Job adverts for teachers often feature cute drawings by pupils to make them stand out. But a rural north Oxfordshire school has taken the gimmick a step further. Hornton primary's pupils have filmed their own video to attract a new head.

Their short advert, titled Use Your Head - Teach at Hornton, appears on the school's website and YouTube, the popular video-downloading site.

It was made with assistance from the agency that produced the Training and Development Agency for Schools' most recent TV adverts.

Several of Hornton's 80 pupils appear in the video, listing the qualities they would like in their headteacher.

Most of their suggestions seem sensible - that the head should be "good at sorting things out", "fair", "arty", "smart and fun".

Others are more bizarre. One boy demands that the head should be "a dancing fairy", while another says they must be "a boy with spiky hair".

Richard Booker, of advertising agency DDB, said: "It's a novel approach, but kids are more technologically savvy these days. The pupils were really clear about what they were looking for."

Although the school has beacon status for education excellence and a picturesque location, it has had difficulty appointing a new leader since its last head, Wendy Clifford, retired in July.

John Offord, chair of governors, said Hornton's recruitment problems were typical of small schools. "In large schools, the head is expected to lead, not teach," he said. "We need someone who can do both."

* www.hornton.oxon.sch.uk

Michael Shaw

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