Ofsted chief: Headteacher recruitment is shambolic

The TES is reporting that Sir Michael Wilshaw has described the system for recruiting school leaders as “shambolic”…

Sir Michael, a former headteacher, has said schools should identify good teachers from the start of their careers and start preparing them for leadership roles.

Speaking at a pupil premium summit in London this week, Sir Michael said this was particularly important because there were “not enough” good school leaders.

“The way we appoint headteachers is shambolic at the moment,” he said. “It needs to be much more professional and we need to track people from basically the early years of the profession all the way through into headship, to be much more directive.”

He said the gap between the attainment of pupils from deprived backgrounds and that of other pupils would only be closed by “good schools led by good leaders who know what to do,” adding: “There are not enough of them.”

Sir Michael repeated his call for a system of “national service for teachers” in which good teachers with two to three years of classroom experience would sign a contract with the government which would allow it to place them in a struggling school elsewhere in the country…

More at: Ofsted chief: Headteacher recruitment is shambolic


Does Sir Michael have a fair point about the inadequacies in the system for ensuring we get the best head teachers? 

I suspect many readers would say a major problem in the current context is the lack of desire amongst the potential next generation, but could some of the ideas Sir Michael mentions – especially targeting prospective heads earlier in their careers – be useful ones?

Please give us your reactions and feedback in the comments or via Twitter…


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Categories: Leadership and Teaching.


  1. StephenG41HR

    SchoolsImprove This from a man who leads an organisation which is part of the problem. Not convinced by the ‘grand plan’ either.

  2. TW

    The way we appoint the heads of national quangos existing solely for the benefit of the ignorant political class is corrupt and systematic.

  3. EnglishJenB

    SchoolsImprove … because asking teachers to sign their location over to the government is an incentive. #sarcasm

  4. Organic_Jane

    SchoolsImprove Nothing wrong with process, issue is the brain drain; loss of good Headteachers due to government policies and Ofsted.

  5. AynieLR

    SchoolsImprove assume that means tapping no 1 favourite on the shoulder and saying ‘I have a job for you’?

  6. AlfredoNokez1

    Ofsted are superb at providing Headteacher vacancies.
    Cull all CEOs & keep experienced staff who can teach really well

Let us know what you think...