Have you noticed?

9th March 2001 at 00:00
Governors, according to The TES (January 5), are clamouring to be allowed to pay headteachers more. I have to say that out here in the shire counties, at the bottom of the funding heap, we are clamouring rather quietly.

Of course the current pay scales for heads and deputies in small schools are too low, particularly since threshold payments have eroded differentials to the point of invisibility.

We would love to pay our managers more, just as we would love our brilliant classroom assistants to be earning more than their neighbours who work in the supermarket. But even if we had the money, would it really solve the headship recruitmet crisis?

The Government's answer to the teacher shortage, to keep throwing money at it, clearly isn't working. Why should it work for headteachers?

In a demoralised and overworked profession, who is going to volunteer to be chief of the demoralised and overworked, with the added bonus of carrying the can when OFSTED strikes?

I hate to say I told you so, but I predicted morale would end up in this dire state after Chris Woodhead was re-appointed as Her Majesty's Chief Inspector - a decision that prompted me to leave the Labour party.

My solution to this problem? Well, I wouldn't start from here.

Joan Dalton


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