Scotland - Only 8% want to be heads

13th November 2009 at 00:00

Just 8 per cent of teachers north of the border aspire to be heads, according to a long-awaited report issued last week.

Commissioned by the Scottish government, the study found 22 per cent of male heads and 24 per cent of females would not recommend headship to anyone. Overall, 53 per cent said they would not urge others to go for the top job, or were not sure.

The chief reasons cited were their long hours and the demands of accountability to inspectors and local authorities. Most heads said they worked for more than 50 hours a week, with 45 per cent spending up to 65 hours on school-related tasks.

Six out of 10 heads said their experience of inspection was a significant factor in their dissatisfaction, specifically "unfair, or unbalanced, representations of the school and too public an exposure of weaknesses".

The "emotionally demanding" nature of the job was a concern for nearly 70 per cent of heads; 72 per cent worried about the impact on their lives outside work; and 46 per cent said it was lonely at the top. A further 72 per cent blamed "public grading of school performance" for their disillusion. NM.

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