Only way is out for pressured pair

19th March 2004 at 00:00
The Gils have almost three decades of headship experience between them.

But the couple, heads at Leicestershire primaries, are so disillusioned with paperwork, bureaucracy and stress that they will retire early this summer - forfeiting up to 25 per cent of their pensions.

Felicity, 56, is retiring as head of Thurlaston Church of England primary after nine years. Tony, 55, is leaving after more than 19 years as head of Elizabeth Woodville primary, in Groby. "Enough is enough," said Mrs Gil.

"When I joined this school there were three management policies. There are now more than 40. You need a policy for a child to breathe."

She blamed the Government for the extra stress and paperwork, but said some parents also caused problems.

"Litigation is a very real threat," she said. "I suppose you have to have regulations and policies to fall back on as a result of parents refusing to believe their child has done something wrong."

Mr Gil said: "People of our age have a folk memory of a time when we did not feel like we were in a strait-jacket of bureaucracy and under the intense pressure of targets. This is a job which eventually completely wears you down."

The Gils will concentrate on their garden and plan to travel.

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