Shared headship hits Moray buffers again

In a surprise decision, councillors in the IndependentLabour-run Moray Council have refused for the second time this year to accept officials'

radical plans to cut the burdens on teaching heads in small, rural primaries.

Education directors wanted to end what they labelled the "increasingly impossible remits" of primary heads who continue to teach and run schools, by creating shared, non-teaching posts.

They planned to link 24 smaller schools to their neighbours under the one management structure, a move that is gaining currency in rural areas from the Borders to Shetland, although it has been rejected in South Ayrshire.

Almost one in four of Moray's heads would have gone under the most significant overhaul of management in primaries anywhere in the country. The non-teaching head would have been complemented by a depute and the new post of principal teacher, depending on pupil numbers. Each school would have had a senior member of staff and kept its own identity.

Senior officials on Wednesday brought back their proposals after lengthy talks over the past few months, including four other options for alleviating heads' burdens. They said they favoured their original scheme, not least to improve staff welfare, and said it was impossible for a head to be a teacher, manager and administrator.

Leader, page 12

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