Psychometric tests to select school leaders.

 The Government have set their sights on improving school leadership in plans to overhaul the National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH), by making a teacher’s professional ladder even tougher to climb. Psychometric tests will be introduced to judge who is best suited to take on school leadership, a change designed to ‘raise the bar’ and create ‘highly effective’ school leaders.

The online psychometric test will be followed up by a one-day assessment and a half-hour telephone chat between an assessor and the applicant’s head or sponsor.

Responding to these change Maggie Farrar, executive director for leadership development at the National College for School Leadership, explained  that: “Michael Gove wanted the NPQH to be on a par with the best MBAs,” and that the National College is “using this as a deliberate opportunity to champion and improve the quality of those going on to headship”.


One thought on “Psychometric tests to select school leaders.

  1. Yes, the NPQH did and still does need refocusing to prepare colleagues for the challenges presented through headship. However, I do not perceive these mooted proposals to go toward achieving that goal. Psychometric testing may have a part to play but it has never been and can never be a one size fits all approach/strategy. That is to say, the Headship role has so many facets that there is no single test to scratch the surface of a candidates potential. Worse still the mooted approach effectively denies each school, academy, free school the ability to use psychometric tests that reflect what the governors/sponsors see as the profile/preferences for their organisations leader.

    Then there is the implied question, if the Headship position requires the equivalent of an MBA then what additional qualification does an AHT or DHT require?

    How many other key employers make a MBA a pre-requisite for senior lesadership positions. A crucial question here would be what academic qualifications are required before one can stand for election to MP and what higher academic qualifications are in place as pre-requisites for higher office as an MP e.g. do secretaries of state have to hold the MBA or equivalent?

    Let’s bin the hypocrisy and properly focus on the remit of the headship post. Then and only then can we understand what it is we need to do to prepare people for senior leadership/headship.

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