Parents seek head with a GSOH

20th January 2006 at 00:00
Most heads have experience dealing with one or two pushy parents. But candidates applying for the headship of Elmcourt secondary, in south London, will be expected to deal with 200.

Elmcourt, the first state school in the country to be set up and partly run by parents, is advertising the post of headteacher at pound;90,810 a year.

Sophia Yates, project manager for the Parent Promoters Foundation, said: "They're our special children. We want someone who can have a laugh with the kids, is approachable and has a good sense of humour. We want that to be at the heart of the school.

"We want someone who works well with our teenagers and is a listener.

Pastoral care should be the responsibility of every single member of staff."

But she denies that the head will be forced to listen unremittingly to parents' demands. "They won't be dictated to by parents," she said. "We have a lot of skills. But we don't know how to run a school. We're looking for leadership."

For example, parents have decided they would like the 1,100-pupil school to apply for specialist status, but they will allow the head to decide which specialism from a shortlist they will provide.

Ten-year-old Tori Mitchell will be among those starting at the school when it opens. "I'd like a headteacher to be kind, but not too kind," she said.

"They'll be like a teacher, but also a sort of friend. If parents choose a head, they'll make sure they're nice, and don't give out too many detentions."

Elmcourt was set up by a parents who feared that their children would not get places in local schools - a particular concern for Lambeth parents in recent years.

Sustained campaigning by families also led to the opening of the Lambeth academy in 2004, and the Charter school in neighbouring Southwark, in 2000.

The Elmcourt will be non-selective, but with a particularly small catchment area. Parents hope that this will help foster a sense of community. The closing date for applications is February 3.

Details 020 7926 9877 or www.tes.co.ukjobs

Subscribe

To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers
Already have a TES Digital Subscription
Add subscription number

Comments

Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
 
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today