Headteacher recruitment crisis sparks fears over school standards

19th September 2016 at 10:02
A report calls for 'immediate action' to be taken to encourage more staff into the top job

A dearth of leadership talent could lead to a fall in Scottish school standards unless urgent action is taken to tackle the crisis in headteacher recruitment, according to a major report.

Ever-expanding demands on heads – as well as salaries offering little incentive for promotion – are deterring many outstanding teachers from applying for headships, the report finds.

It says that a national action plan and a review of salary scales will be crucial to reversing that trend.

The report warns that unless “immediate action” is taken, the failure to recruit headteachers will become “one of the inhibitors to the progress of school improvement on a national scale and will lead to significant operational difficulty locally”.

Inconsistent approaches to finding and nurturing heads meant “many potential leaders are missed or overlooked”, the research says, adding that fewer teachers are prepared to uproot their families for a headship.

The document, prepared for the Scottish government by education directors’ body ADES, finds that the job of a headteacher has become more complex in recent years, because of changes in legislation, curriculum and societal expectations.

A government spokeswoman said: “While it is for local authorities to recruit headteachers, we are taking decisive action to reduce bureaucracy which will have a beneficial impact on the work of headteachers.”

This is an edited version of an article in the 16 September edition of TESS. Subscribers can view the full story hereThis week's TESS magazine is available in all good newsagents. To download the digital edition, Android users can click here and iOS users can click here

Want to keep up with the latest education news and opinion? Follow TES on Twitter and like TES on Facebook


Related Content

Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today