Opponent of new grammar schools to lead headteachers’ union

The Guardian is reporting that an outsider who vowed to take the fight to the government over grammar schools and funding cuts has been elected general secretary of the biggest secondary school headteachers’ union.

Geoff Barton, the long-serving headteacher of a secondary school in Suffolk, was on Friday named the winner in the Association of School and College Leaders’ first contested election for general secretary in a landslide win.

Barton had strong support among his fellow heads as well as a strong social media presence. His win upset the plans of the union’s executive, which had handpicked a consultant who had never worked as a teacher as its favoured candidate.

Barton, who steps down as head of King Edward VI school in Bury St Edmunds, said: “I am delighted to have gained this mandate as ASCL general secretary. I want to thank the association’s members for their encouragement over these past few months. The level of support has been both inspiring and humbling.”

The result means that Barton takes over ASCL, which has 18,000 members, mainly in secondary schools in England, as the government prepares to launch a new wave of grammar schools, as well as bringing in a controversial new funding formula for schools in England while freezing spending.

Barton said after his victory: “I very much look forward to working closely with all members of ASCL, its elected representatives, and the staff team. There’s never been a more important time for leaders, in our various roles across all types of schools and colleges, to speak with a distinctive, authoritative, united voice.”

More at: Opponent of new grammar schools to lead headteachers’ union

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