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Retiring from fray;Helpline;Briefing;School management

THE SCHOOL where I have been head for the past 11 years has just been judged to be in need of special measures by the Office for Standards in Education. Should I retire?

I cannot possibly answer this question for you, even if you were to give me much more information. But experience elsewhere suggests that this is not necessarily a situation which you will be able to control.

Even where a governing body professes full confidence in the head, the local authority may persuade them that success will only be achieved with a change of leadership.

From your point of view, this may be a flagrant injustice. Much depends on what the OFSTED report actually says, although there are few things that cannot be tracked back to deficient leadership in one way or another.

You should discuss the matter with your chair of governors, with the local or diocesan authority if appropriate and, most importantly, with your professional association.

If you are allowed the time to think it over, remember to consider your own physical and mental health and the interests of your nearest and dearest, as well as your feelings about the school and your job.

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