More than a simple stand-in

19th September 1997 at 01:00
Kerry George of the National Association of Head Teachers is right ("Desperate search for acting heads", TES, September 12). An acting head is not just a stand-in, like a doctor's locum.

If they are to be any good for the children in their care they must have real experience of what it takes to do the job.

They have to know how to give direction, be able to act swiftly and certainly, keep staff morale up and move the education of the children forward in a time of upheaval.

Being a headteacher is a difficult job and until we all begin to value what headteachers do, the current crisis will only deepen. They must be given salaries which reflect the level of responsibility, equalling that of senior managers in other sectors, as well as proper support and empowerment from local education authorities and governors to act on the wisdom of their own authority.

Until that happens, headteachers will continue to leave in droves, leadership will be lost and organisations like Capstan Teachers will continue to be a very necessary part of the solution.


Managing Director Capstan Teachers Ltd Meridian House Royal Hill Greenwich, London SE10

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