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


Deputy prime minister Nick Clegg will today announce plans to set up a "champions’ league" of headteachers to turn around struggling schools.

Top performing heads and deputy heads will be recruited centrally then dispatched to primaries and secondaries across England that are “failing”, struggling to recruit staff, or based in areas of deprivation.

He will claim in a speech at Morpeth school in East London this morning that  the scheme will mean the teaching equivalents of football's Sir Alex Ferguson will be brought in to "turn Swindon Town into Manchester United", aides said.

Incentives will be offered to attract the best school leaders, which could include better pay, relocation packages and professional development support, though the details are yet to be finalised.

Mr Clegg said the first “team” of up to 30 headteachers is expected to be in place by September 2014.

Educationists and heads’ leaders have already compared the initiative to the existing National Leaders in Education scheme.

Under the new scheme successful candidates will be matched with schools that have volunteered to take part. Extra cash to fund the pay and perks for headteachers will come from the Department for Education's budget.

Mr Clegg will say: "I'm pleased to announce today that the Government will be setting up a programme to get outstanding leaders into the schools that need them the most.

"The Department for Education will be setting out further details in due course. But what I can say is that there will be a pool of top talent within the profession, a champions league of headteachers, made up of heads and deputy heads, who will stand ready to move to schools in challenging circumstances that need outstanding leaders.

"So if you're a school facing tough challenges and finding it hard to recruit an exceptional leader, you'll be able to call on this team and request someone with a proven leadership track record.

"We're looking for experienced headteachers ready for a new challenge, or bright deputy heads looking to take the next step and lead a school.

"If you are selected, we'd need you to make a real commitment to the school, its staff and its children.

"You'll receive help to relocate to the areas where you're needed and the necessary professional support to turn around your school. And we will work to help you in your new role taking on this challenging school.”

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