Human side of a headteacher shortage

21st September 2007 at 01:00
The issue of head recruitment should be addressed with greater focus on human factors involved, rather than just highlighting the fact that a generation of heads are near retirement.

Government and local authorities still fail to see the very real pitfalls involved in taking up headship. Workload is an obvious one, although that has become accepted and monitored to some extent. But the role of inspection in undermining confidence in the security and status of headship remains a blindspot for those with political investment in schools' "success".

Schooling, headship and inspection all have a subjective dimension at heart. In the six years since my own experience of inspection, I have remained convinced that what it feels like to be a head is fundamental to whether anyone might want to do the job. A focus on this in policy-making would make a big difference in tackling the worrying decline in headship applications.

Phil Goss

Former headteacher,

Carnforth, Lancashire

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


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,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today