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CRISIS IN RECRUITMENT OF HEADS DEEPENS

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Preliminary results of a survey, which show a rapid rise in vacancies, a high level of re-advertisements and a redu...
Preliminary results of a survey, which show a rapid rise in vacancies, a high level of re-advertisements and a reduction in applications for heads' and deputies' posts are published today by the National Association of Head Teachers.

Highlights from the survey are:

-- vacancies for primary headships are up by 29 per cent in a year

-- vacancies for secondary headships are up by 24 per cent in a year

-- vacancies for primary deputy headships are up by 47.5 per cent in a year

-- vacancies for secondary deputy headships are up by 52 per cent in a year

-- re-advertisement rates vary from 8 per cent to 17 per cent

-- dramatic falls in the past two years in the numbers applying for headships

-- a stark fall of 38 per cent in the numbers applying for deputy headship in the past two years

These figures will be presented to the School Teachers' Review Body which will be considering salary increases for heads, deputies and all other teachers later this year. It makes recommendations to the government in the New Year for the salary period April 1998 - March 1999.

David Hart, general secretary NAHT comments:

'Recruitment to headship and deputy headship has been deteriorating for some time. This survey reveals that the dam has burst. The number of vacancies, the rate of re-advertisements and the drop in the number of applications all send the clear message that many teachers are simply no longer prepared to undertake the responsibilities of senior management. The salaries on offer too often make the jobs of heads and deputies not worth the candle. The STRB must recommend substantial salary increases to the government otherwise the worst recruitment crisis in living memory will only deepen further. Equally importantly, a record number of schools are starting the new academic year without permanent heads in place. Unless the recruitment position improves dramatically, the government's drive for higher standards could be fatally undermined.'

John Sutton, general secretary SHA, comments:

'It has been recognised for years that high-quality leadership is the key to successful schools. The survey reveals that fewer people are willing to put themselves forward for positions which are more demanding and less secure than ever before. The pool from which the leaders of secondary schools are drawn, the deputy heads, has shrunk dramatically as posts have been abolished because of financial constraints.

'The government must move urgently to make this most demanding of career moves more attractive. That means higher salaries certainly but it also means enhancing the professional status of heads and deputies by recognising publicly the value of their work and ensuring reasonable job security.'

-- Full results of the survey are available on request from LGCnet. Tel 0171 833 7324/5 and we shall fax you a copy.

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