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Headship course loses college subsidy

SCHOOLS will have to pay up to pound;2,175 for supply cover for senior staff undertaking national headteacher training from September.

The National College of School Leadership is to stop covering the cost of supply, accommodation, food and travel to course venues for staff studying for the National Professional Qualification for Headship.

It will continue to cover course costs of up to pound;3,620 per person.

The college has previously paid up to pound;150 a day for supply, up to pound;60 a night for accommodation outside London, and 25p a mile for car journeys.

Teachers undertaking the full training programme can expect to spend up to 14.5 days away from their schools, and a record 2,893 teachers have NPQH places starting in September.

The NPQH will be required of all first-time heads from April 2004, and the change has been criticised by headteachers who are still in the middle of a funding crisis.

David Hart, general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, has been fielding angry emails from members.

"Heads have had to slash professional development to the bone and it is going to make it very difficult to support teachers who want to achieve the NPQH. I think the college views the NPQH as a course it can achieve cost savings on because it is mandatory."

But Heather Du Quesnay, NCSL's chief executive, said only 40 per cent of schools have claimed expenses previously, and those with fewer than 150 pupils will still be eligible for them.

She added: "The NPQH is otherwise completely subsidised by the NCSL. This compares extremely favourably with professional qualifications in other sectors where applicants often have to meet all the costs themselves."

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