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Qualification needs more thought

Your recent editions have voiced concerns about the National Professional Qualification for Headship.

The National Middle Schools Forum (NMSF) represents all middle schools and is led by middle-school headteachers. At our June steering committee meeting we were taken aback by the proposed programme of training. Our information reveals that funding is not secured beyond the first year and it is likely that trainees may have to pay for their own training. The training workload appears off-putting to colleagues who have attended information conferences.

There are also reservations about the expertise, experience and capabilities of the trainers. Training institutions are emerging as the likely providers yet lack staff with recent, relevant knowledge of headship.

The NMSF wholeheartedly supports high quality training for and during headship. The NPQH is, as proposed, unlikely to provide that. We would urge the Secretary of State to reconsider the introduction of an expensive programme until it can be assured of credibility within the teaching profession.

R M THOMAS Immediate past chairperson National Middle Schools Forum Temple Cowley Middle School Oxford

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