Number of schools failing to recruit senior leaders rises to record high, survey suggests.

The number of schools that have failed to recruit ‘heads of schools’ has risen to the highest level in four years, a new survey suggests.  The Independent reports.

More than a quarter (27 per cent) of schools could not fill top positions at all last year – a rise from 12 per cent in 2017 – and fewer were able to fill senior special educational needs roles.

The National of Association of Headteachers (NAHT) survey reveals that more school leaders (67 per cent) are aware of staff quitting for reasons other than retirement in the last five years.

And nearly two in five (37 per cent) are struggling to recruit due to the number of teachers leaving the profession – up from just 15 per cent in 2014 – the poll of more than 700 school leaders revealed.

Paul Whiteman, general secretary of NAHT, said: “Workload, high-stakes accountability, insufficient funding, and continuing real-terms cuts to teachers’ and school leaders’ pay drives many committed professionals out of teaching.”

On the government’s plans, he added: “More is needed to retain mid and late career teachers. To create a positive proposition for a career in teaching the essential components include competitive pay, attractive and flexible working conditions, a healthy work-life balance, opportunities for career-long continuing professional development, and lower risk ways of holding schools to account.”

At the NAHT conference today, members will vote on a motion calling on the government to restore the differentials between education pay grades and to push forward with plans for sabbaticals.  

A Department for Education spokesperson said: “The education secretary has been clear that there are no great schools without great teachers. Despite there being more than 450,000 teachers – 11,900 more than in 2011 – with increasing numbers returning to the profession, it is his top priority is to make sure teaching remains an attractive and fulfilling profession.”

Read more Number of schools failing to recruit senior leaders rises to record high, survey suggests.

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