Delayed retirement urged for London headteachers as pupil numbers are set to soar

The TES is reporting that a new major forecast that suggests demand for secondary places in London will increase by more than a quarter by 2025, with 105,000 extra places needed.

The research, published today by the Greater London Authority, shows that the capital will need a total of 165,000 more school places over the next 10 years.

The study predicts that demand for secondary places will grow by 26.5 per cent – the equivalent of 90 new schools. The research, the first on pupil numbers for the Mayor of London, also forecasts an 8.8 per cent rise in demand for primary places over the same period – an extra 60,000 places.

Munira Mirza, London’s deputy mayor for education, said the figures were “sobering” because creating new secondary places was “costlier, slower and more difficult” than expanding primary places.

The report will be launched at a conference today, where mayor Boris Johnson will call for London to have a single regional schools commissioner. “A schools commissioner for London is a no-brainer,” Mr Johnson is expected to say.

The conference will also discuss separate research for the Mayor of London, published today, which suggests schools should ask headteachers considering retirement to either delay the move or take phased retirement, to curb school leadership shortages in London

The study, Building the Leadership Pool in London Schools, warns of a shortage of high-quality heads and points to research conducted earlier this year by education consultancy The Key, which found that nearly six in 10 London headteachers were considering leaving their role in the next three years…

Read more on this in today’s TES

More at: Delayed retirement urged for London headteachers as pupil numbers are set to soar 


It doesn’t look like either of the new studies mentioned is online yet, but the figures here are just mind-boggling – adding the equivalent of 90 new secondary schools to a city – albeit one as big as London – in ten years is huge, isn’t it?

And what do you think of the suggestion that heads should be dissuaded from retirement? It does seem a terrible waste when wise and experienced heads retire – especially when they retire early – but perhaps a more flexible kind of role could be created for people in this position, perhaps involving fewer hours and less hands-on responsibility but instead focussing more on mentoring or overseeing less experienced staff?

What do you think? Should we find ways to encourage experience school leaders to stay involved and contributing longer?

Please let us know in the comments or via Twitter…



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