Leader magazineASCL - Association of School and College Leaders

Latest report highlights recruitment worries

The latest school recruitment survey published by SHA and NAHT shows that one in five secondary schools that advertised for a headteacher last year failed to make an appointment.

SHA is using the report to urge government to make headship and senior leadership posts more attractive. We have put the evidence to the STRB for increased pay for senior leaders and called on ministers to decrease the number of initiatives and their associated workload.

The 11th annual report, conducted by Professor John Howson, shows that in secondary schools the average number of applicants for headship posts dropped to 13. This is down by an average of 16 per cent from last year and continues the downward trend of the last four years.

A total of 20 per cent of secondary headteacher posts went unfilled last year. One third of schools re-advertised their headship, an increase from last year.

More than 1,100 of the 1,900 headship posts advertised so far in 2005 appeared over an 11-week period from January to March, putting additional pressures on the recruitment process.

The good news is that the number of women taking on senior roles has again increased. In secondary schools, women account for 39 per cent of new headships (up 3 per cent from last year) and among new assistant heads, 51 per cent are women.

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