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

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now