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Pimlico Primary head becomes latest non-teacher school leader to quit

It will come as little surprise to many, but the headteacher of a free school in central London with no teaching qualifications has quit her position just weeks into the job. 

Annaliese Briggs, who joined Pimlico Primary Free School in March, joins a small list of non-teaching heads who tried and failed to make their mark as school leaders.

Perhaps the most well-known case was that of Peter Noble, who was appointed chief executive of the Richard Rose Federation in 2008 after a career as a health service manager.

Mr Noble lasted just two terms before being forced out of his role when Richard Rose Central was placed in special measures for the first time.   

Ms Briggs (pictured) joined Pimlico Primary from the think tank Civitas, where she worked on education reform, having studied English at Queen Mary, University of London.

While she had no teaching qualifications, it is understood she spent time working in primary schools in Wandsworth, south London through a school-centred teacher training scheme. 

Ministers made it possible for free schools to hire unqualified teaching staff with the intention that it would lead to the schools hiring experts in their field, such as scientists or musicians, who may not have QTS. The policy was then expanded to include academies.  

Pimlico Primary itself is part of a chain of academies in the central London area sponsored by Future, a charity set up by schools minister Lord Nash and his wife Caroline.

A statement on the school’s website from Dr J J Saxton, director of education at Future Academies, said they had already appointed a new head.  

“I am writing to let you know that having successfully set up and opened Pimlico Primary, Annaliese Briggs has decided to leave Future Academies to pursue other opportunities within primary education,” Dr Saxton said. 

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