The number of school leaders losing their jobs has continued to grow, and new complaints procedures could increase headteachers’ vulnerability still further – and discourage teachers applying for senior positions, according to the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL).
The number of school leaders losing their jobs has continued to grow, said the ASCL at its March Annual Conference. General Secretary Dr John Dunford reported that the number of ASCL members who lost their jobs in the past year is 163, up from 150 in 2008 and 93 in 2007.
Increase in sackings
The ASCL believes the increase in sackings is due to schools closing, federating or becoming academies, as well as pressure from local authorities and central government to raise raw exam results at GCSE.
The ASCL says new complaints procedures put in place recently – including complaints to the Local Government Ombudsman (LGO) – will increase headteachers’ vulnerability and discourage more teachers from applying for senior positions and headships.
“This is one of no less than four new complaints mechanisms introduced by the government in the last couple of years – complaints to Ofsted, complaints to the LGO – and two of them announced personally by the prime minister – year 6 surveys and the latest manifestation, parents voting to get rid of school leaders,” said Dr Dunford.
Positively engaging parents
“Our challenge is to over-ride this negative approach to parent/school relations and engage parents positively in the education of their children.”
Independent education consultant and former secondary headteacher Bob Linnell told Eteach: “There is rising concern regarding the pressure of increasing accountability on headteachers as part of the government’s school improvement agenda.
‘Football manager syndrome’
“There is a danger of a drift towards the ‘football manager syndrome’, where headteachers are insecure in post, and have very little time in which to make an impact on their school or their community, before possibly being removed or driven into a different role.“
* Will new complaints procedures really increase headteachers’ vulnerability? Is there a drift towards ‘football manager syndrome’ for school leaders? Will teachers really be deterred from applying for headships as a result of new complaints mechanisms? Share your views here!