Struggle to recruit headteachers

RECRUITMENT of headteachers in Suffolk is becoming “increasingly difficult”, a union leader has warned today. Chris Harrrison, national council member for Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire for the National Association of Headteachers (NAHT) said fewer and fewer teachers were attracted to leadership jobs.

RECRUITMENT of headteachers in Suffolk is becoming “increasingly difficult”, a union leader has warned today.

Chris Harrrison, national council member for Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire for the National Association of Headteachers (NAHT) said fewer and fewer teachers were attracted to leadership jobs.

The news comes after NAHT warned of a crisis after publishing a nationwide research showing up to half a million children are in schools without permanent headteachers.

Mr Harrison said: “In Suffolk the numbers of people applying for headships is much reduced. There are a number of schools in the county which need to re-advertise for leadership roles.

“It is becoming particularly difficult to attract people to the role of headships in smaller schools. The salary difference is negligible from that of the highest paid teachers.”

Mr Harrison stopped shport of saying there was a shortage of headteachers in the county.

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But he added: “It is also difficult to get people to move from teaching to other jobs of leaderships like deputy headships. It will only be three to five years before this has a knock on effect in recruiting headteachers.”

The survey released by the union showed more than one in four heads would consider quitting if their heavy

workload does not fall.

Speaking at the NAHT annual conference in Harrogate, the union's general secretary Mick Brookes said ministers were ``in denial' about the problem.

He said: “This is a crisis and it will only get worse unless the same efforts afforded to avert the shortage in teachers are now focussed on the recruitment and retention of school leaders.”

A spokesman for the Department for Education and Skills defended the Government's record.

He said: “No Government has done more to both recruit and support heads because we recognise the challenges the job brings.

“But it is important to keep this in context. Vacancy rates for headteachers have fallen significantly with only 0.7% of

posts now vacant compared to 1% in 1998.”

He said the Government was giving headteachers ``record pay' as well as cutting red tape.

Are you a teacher put off from applying for promotion? What do you think? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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