Up to half-term in late October, 100 posts for the new leadership grade of assistant headteacher had appeared in The TES. Of these, roughly two-thirds were in secondary schools and about a quarter were in primary schools. The remaining posts were in special schools. Undoubtedly, there will have been more local appointments to assistant headships that didn't make it into the newspaper.
Last autumn also saw a flurry of advertisements for new heads from schools that had either failed to make an appointment during the summer term or were faced with a head deciding to either move on or quit. During September and October nearly 600 schools - roughly a quarter of the annual total of advertisements for a headteacher - published the vacancy for the first time. Additionally, there were 130 schools that had first placedan advertisement during June and July and readvertised the post during September and October. These represented more than one in three of all schools that advertised for a new headteacher during June and July.
Among primary schools, the problems associated with finding a new head no longer seem confined to London and the South East but occur throughout England and Wales. Although some schools can still attract more than 30 candidates for a headship, many others are struggling to attract half that number of applicants.
Even secondary schools now find attracting as many as 50 applicants difficult.
If the number of posts advertised continues at current levels, finding enough applicants who have completed the NPQH may be a problem for some governing bodies.