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Longer hours for heads

Scottish headteachers work longer hours and experience a greater sense of distance from teaching staff than counterparts in other countries, an international study has found.

A research project on "effective leadership in a time of change", whose findings will be discussed at a conference on May 14, concludes that the key characteristic of the good headteacher is someone who listens to other opinions and different viewpoints.

The study, carried out by the Quality in Education Centre and partly funded by the Scottish Office, involved 10 heads from Scotland, England, Denmark and Australia. Scottish heads said their average working week was 65 hours, slightly less than English heads but considerably more than in the other two countries. Scottish primary heads spent the most time with pupils in the classroom.

The hierarchical Scottish structure caused amazement to heads from Denmark where schools have only heads and deputes.

Full report, next week

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