Such near certainty of promotion is likely to interest ambitious senior staff in schools. Although the SQH is not yet mandatory, its backers assume appointment panels will increasingly use the award to screen applicants.
Sam Galbraith, the Children and Education Minister, presented special certificates to the pioneers in a ceremony at Edinburgh's Royal College of Physicians. His presence underlined the importance the Scottish Executive attaches to the qualification.
Mr Galbraith will make the SQH a cornerstone of his forthcoming consultation paper on continuous professional development, as part of what he called "a portfolio of programmes" to help teachers with career challenges. "I am aware of the importance of the inspirational teacher and also of the inspirational headteacher," he told the audience.
But he said the SQH was not "a route to rapid promotion for the select few but a means to help people prepare for change."
The first 15 to demonstrate they meet "the standard for headship" (pictured left with Mr Galbraith) are: Wilma Burgon, depute head at Eyemouth High; John Campbell, acting head at Tynecastle High; Janice Chapman, depute at Burnfoot Community School in Hawick; Fiona Dickens, head of Howdenhall Children's Unit in Edinburgh; John Docherty, depute at St Andrew's Secondary in Glasgow; Elizabeth Ervine, depute at Hyndland Secondary; Arlene Mooney, head of Willowpark Special School in Edinburgh; Avril Muirhead, depute at Blackhall Primary in Edinburgh; Alison Noble, acting head at Preston Street Primary in Edinburgh; Fiona Rattray, depute at Knightswood Primary; Ann Robertson, head of Craigton Primary in Glasgow; Audrey Robertson, head of Reston Primary in Eyemouth; Joanne Scott, head of Killearn Primary; Mari Wallace, head of Drummore Special School in Glasgow; and (not in the picture) Charles Robertson, head of Kelso High.
News H5 TESJseptember 24J 1999 gail prenticenewsflash By Neil Munro Proud graduates: the first recipients of the Scottish Qualification for Headship at the awards ceremony with Minister Sam Galbraith Stdfst-medium 1616pt news Gothic Regular, upper and lowercase, tracking -4, name in News Gothic2 Bold, ranged left.