The Telegraph, 14.11.16, parents and pupils alike know the importance of a good school headmaster or headmistress. They can lift or lower a school’s performance through their choice of staff and strategy and the standards they bring to bear writes HMC Chair Mike Buchanan, Head of Ashford School.
So warnings this week of future shortages of school leaders will be a worry to families with children due to be educated in the coming years – but there are actions we can and should take, now.
The Future Leaders Trust, Teach First and Teaching Leaders believes that we are facing the challenge of a shortfall of between 14,000 and 19,000 school leaders by 2022, affecting one in four schools in England.
This is indeed one of the immediate, pressing, urgent practical issues for English education and its roots are to be seen in the Government’s current education consultation, “Schools that work for everyone”.
The consultation maps out the need: “the demographic pressure for good school places is increasing: primary pupil numbers grew by over 11 per cent between 2010 and 2016 and are projected to increase by a further 4 per cent between 2016 and 2020. Secondary pupil numbers are projected to increase by around 10 per cent between 2016 and 2020”.
Translated, this means a need for about half a million new secondary school places and somewhat fewer new primary places by the middle part of the next decade.