Can one head become two?

3rd June 2005 at 01:00
Headteachers' jobs could be split in two as workforce reform spreads to school leadership.

The School Teachers' Review Body has been asked to consider whether schools should have separate lead practitioners and managers, imitating the model of hospital management.

Employers, the Westminster Government and its partner unions said in their joint evidence that the development of extended schools may mean it is necessary to separate leading the practice of teaching from administration.

Chris Keates, general secretary of the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers, the second largest teacher union, said if the role is split the lead practitioner should have a higher salary than the manager.

Other workforce reforms proposed by the Rewards and Incentives Group could mean removing any remaining admin tasks from teachers and allowing them to skip meetings on the organisation of the school. They would no longer have to take the register, attend assemblies or supervise pupils out of lesson time.

Ms Keates said: "We have started a process that for the first time identifies who are the most appropriate people to do the jobs."

Extending the cuts to teacher workload will add to the problems of heads.

Three-quarters of heads told a TES survey this week that existing reforms are already unsustainable. A revolt by these heads led to the National Association of Head Teachers joining the National Union of Teachers by pulling out of the workforce agreement earlier this year.

They argued that the Government had not funded the requirement to allow teachers 10 per cent of their time for planning, preparation and assessment (PPA).

The TES workload survey, of 545 schools, shows primary heads are divided about whether teachers doing their planning in schooltime will raise standards. Almost a third said standards would rise. But a quarter thought they would fall, a quarter said there would be no effect, and a fifth would not comment. Secondary heads are more optimistic, with just under half thinking the changes will lead to higher standards, and only 4 per cent that they will fall.

Meanwhile, most parents have not been told about the changes to who teaches their child from this September. Seven out of 10 schools have not yet informed parents, although many intend to do so.

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