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Potential costs

Last September I took up the post of deputy head in a junior mixed infants school.

Recently I applied for information about the National Professional Qualification for Headship which, if undertaken over two or three years, should provide timely preparation for a headship, should I decide to take this career route.

However, I was concerned to receive from my LEA details of the financial commitment involved. This course will cost between Pounds 1,450 and Pounds 2,800. The LEA can fund 18 candidates fully for the first year using Grants for Education Support and Training, but has no indication of the level of funding for future years. They suggest that candidates may be funded from "sources such as school budgets, personal funds, post-entry training grants etc".

My school has, in common with many others, suffered a sharp fall in income this year, narrowly avoiding redundancies. We have necessarily slashed the training budget. Self-funding in my case would be in addition to funding myself through five years of part-time study with Open University to obtain an MA in preparation for my current post. Many senior managers may simply not be able to meet the cost.

The current much-publicised crisis in which heads are leaving in droves and senior staff are reluctant to take their places is unlikely to be ameliorated by the introduction of an inadequately funded training requirement which, from all accounts, is likely to become compulsory. Mr Blunkett and his team need to consider this matter urgently.

SUSY STONE

Trowle Woodside Grange Road London N12

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