Ministers want to give headteachers more control over staffing, the Education Minister told directors. "They should not become employers of teachers but should have greater flexibility on staffing at school level," Peter Peacock said.
Heads had to have the freedom to determine what posts they needed and how they would fit into their management plans, Mr Peacock said.
But he ducked a question about authorities' and heads' freedom to manipulate the Executive's commitment to cut class sizes in English and maths in the first two years of secondary.
In his formal address, Mr Peacock said that a full choice of schools was not realistic for most parents. "They are either too far from the nearest alternative school, or they don't have the mobility or means to exercise the choice that a minority already do."
That was why every school had to become "excellent".