It's lonely at the top

5th December 2003 at 00:00
David Henderson reports from the educational researchers' annual conference in Perth

One in three women headteachers lives alone, a survey south of the border by Glasgow University researchers shows.

A study by the university's Scottish Council for Research in Education centre into teachers' careers in England has found that female heads are far less likely than male heads to live with a partner or have children.

Thirty-two per cent of white female heads live by themselves, against a mere 2 per cent of solitary male heads.

Very few teachers from minor-ity ethnic groups or with disabilities ever make it to headship.

The survey of 2,500 teachers con-firms what many believe, that having children dents women's career prospects and that stereotypes of good teachers equate with males.

Problems of stress and excessive workload have prompted 54 per cent to consider leaving the classroom. Too much paper work and long hours are blamed. Few reported having access to careers advice and many said they knew little about alternative careers.

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