Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

HEAD TEACHER TURNOVER IS REACHING CRITICAL PROPORTIONS

  • Comment
Advertisements for headship are at their highest level since 1997. They are nearly 20% above those for the same per...
Advertisements for headship are at their highest level since 1997. They are nearly 20% above those for the same period (January to April) in 2003. The number of head teacher posts advertised for the first time during the period January to April 2004 is 1428, compared to 1160 in the same period during 2003.

There is a very high national re-advertisement rate of over 13%, with the primary sector showing a rate of over 14%, during the January-April 2004 period.

However, of the advertisements placed during January 2004 for head teachers:

110 of the 358 primary schools (31%) have re-advertised

16 of the 78 secondary schools (21%) have re-advertised

7 of the 23 special schools (30%) have re-advertised

22 of 53 London primary schools (42%) have re-advertised

6 of 10 London Roman Catholic primary schools (60%) have re-advertised

42% of the English and Welsh Roman Catholic primary school headships have been re-advertised

One of the prime causes is the increasingly high risk nature of the head's job. Our Regional Officers report a surge in their caseloads this year. Recorded cases for the period January 2004 to March 2004 totalled 825, an increase of 50%. The attached analysis (Annex 1) shows the range of some of the cases handled by NAHT. Ofsted Inspections are featuring more and more strongly as a reason for NAHT members leaving their jobs.

Other cases handled include assaults on our members. Two recent claims for compensation, made to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board, arising from pupil assaults on our members, have led to awards of some£68,800 and£79,600 respectively.

Although NAHT negotiates very good 'severance packages' for its members, there are many heads departing early and suffering a hefty cut in their annual pensions and lump sums. This is a measure of their desire to get out. Statistics from the Teachers' Pension Agency show that there has been a 270% increase in the number of teachers (including heads and deputy head s) who have left between the ages of 55 and 59 with reduced pensions and lump sums.

Deputy and assistant heads are becoming more reluctant to seek headship. The challenges when measured against the pressures, the workload and the pay reward on offer, are putting them off.

This all has serious implications for government. Schools can ill-afford to lose senior staff with years of experience. The National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH) has become a mandatory qualification for headship with effect from 1 April 2004. There is a very real risk that there will not be enough candidates with NPQH to fill headships if the departure rate continues.

David Hart, general secretary NAHT said:

'Head teacher turnover is reaching critical proportions. Heads are suffering from 'football manager syndrome'. But there the comparison ends. There are not the candidates queuing up to replace them. No head will ever get a pay off of Claudio Ranieri proportions. The government knows it has a crisis on its hands.But has yet to come up with an answer. The fear has to be that, unless heads are given better support by governors and local authorities, a real prospect of workload reduction, a good long term funding settlement and rewards that reflect their responsibilities, this exodus of talent will not be staunched.'

NOTES

ANNEX 1

NAHT CASELOAD FOR PERIOD 1.1.04. - 31.3.04

1.Allegations of Physical Assault by Members22

2.Amalgamation of schools (redundancy)48

3.Competency of Members34

4.Complaints by parents (sometimes with Solicitor involvement)83

5.Disciplinary action against staff36

6.Ofsted inspection results 33

7.Relationship with governing bodies44

8.Grievance against members62

9.Ill health absence of members83

10.Management problems50

11.Redundancies45

12.Problems with Unions62

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.