More than half of heads considering leaving

More than 60 per cent of secondary school leaders say that government policies are having a detrimental effect on standards of education for young people, according to a ASCL/TES survey of 1,800 secondary school leaders published today (Friday). As a result, morale amongst secondary school leaders has reached a new low, with half of heads saying they would not recommend headship to a colleague and three-quarters of deputy and assistant heads saying they are less likely to want to go for headship than they were 12 months ago. More than half say they are considering leaving the profession and that the government’s education policies and the barrage of unfounded criticism about standards are the reason.

Secondary school leaders will have a chance to question Education Secretary Michael Gove and HMCI Sir Michael Wilshaw about the figures when the two speak at ASCL’s annual conference today and tomorrow. ASCL General Secretary Brian Lightman said:

“Our members feel they’re facing an endless barrage of criticism, calling into question their commitment. They feel angry and deeply frustrated, on the verge of being bullied. They are professionals who are absolutely committed but they can only take so much. They want to work with the government to continue to improve standards but instead they are being treated as part of the problem. The government has cherry-picked international statistics, made sweeping generalisations and painted a caricature of schools as failing in order to justify its policy decisions. This must stop. 

“The bottom line is that the government needs school and college leaders on its side if it wants its policies to work and standards to continue to improve. There are a huge number of dedicated and talented school leaders who know what it takes to raise standards because they do it day in and day out. 

“If this continues, good school leaders will leave the profession and who will want to take their place, especially in schools in deprived areas which most need strong leadership? Untold damage will be done to our young people’s future education if the toxic rhetoric is allowed to continue. This is not political posturing, it is a message the government will ignore at its peril. We have said this repeatedly and we will again tell Michael Gove and Michael Wilshaw in person when they speak at our conference in Birmingham today and tomorrow.”

More on this story: BBC | Telegraph

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