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Heads' qualification

Aspiring headteachers will be able to study for the new professional qualification through the Open University, the Teacher Training Agency has announced.

The agency has awarded the contract to develop the distance learning version of its new qualification to a partnership between the Open University and the National Association of Headteachers.

Last week the TTA identified the universities and training institutions that have won the contracts to act as regional providers and assessors of the qualification, which is being piloted this year and will be in place nationally from September 1997.

The national professional qualification for heads represents the first part of the Teacher Training Agency's drive to introduce a more formal professional structure to teaching; it will be followed by the development of qualifications for heads of department in secondary schools and subject co-ordinators in primary schools, subject specialists for key stage 2, "expert teachers" and serving heads.

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