School clusters the answer to a lack of outstanding headteachers, commissioner says

The TES is reporting claims from England’s national schools commissioner that all schools should operate in groups because there are not enough “outstanding” headteachers…

Frank Green, appointed by ministers to head their academies and free schools programme, has also warned that free schools will struggle to survive in isolation.

“I don’t think any school should be an academy on its own,” he told a conference in London last week. “I think we should always put them into groups.”

Mr Green’s vision would mean a huge rearrangement of the schools system and a change in government policy.

He told TES that no more than a third of academies were currently in formal multi-school groupings and a quarter of new free schools approved by ministers would operate without being part of multi-academy trusts.

But Mr Green argued that staying outside of larger groupings would threaten their very existence. “I think as free schools develop, particularly if they are only small, they will find it difficult to survive on their own,” he said.

The former academy chain chief executive said he had been convinced of the need for schools to operate in federations after coming across government research and Ofsted findings that showed only a third had leaders that were “outstanding”.

“So my simple engineering mind said, ‘I know the simple solution now to the education problem’,” Mr Green told a Westminster Education Forum event last week.

“We have got to put one outstanding headteacher in charge of every three schools, three schools at a time, and we will get outstanding education.

“As you know, life isn’t that simple. But we do have to do something like that and that is the purpose of federations and groups of schools.”

Mr Green’s call comes after Ofsted’s chief inspector, Sir Michael Wilshaw, told TES last month that he wanted all schools to be forced by law to join a cluster or a federation in a bid to drive up standards…

More at: School clusters the answer to a lack of outstanding headteachers, commissioner says

 

What do you think about these comments from Frank Green of, effectively, looking to get all schools into clusters with, presumably, one executive headteacher responsible for overall leadership? Also, wasn’t the principle of schools not existing in isolation something the local authority model prevented? Please let us know what you think in the comments or via Twitter…

 

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Comments

  1. kccv1

    SchoolsImprove
    If there is such a lack of outstanding headteachers what does that say about the wider profession?
    NASUWT ?

  2. kccv1

    SchoolsImprove
    If there is such a lack of outstanding headteachers what does that say about the wider profession?
    NASUWT ?

  3. poachermullen

    SchoolsImprove seems like a sticking plaster rather than an answer. It’s not as if the teaching body doesn’t have talent, after all.

  4. poachermullen

    SchoolsImprove seems like a sticking plaster rather than an answer. It’s not as if the teaching body doesn’t have talent, after all.

  5. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove This comes across as a typical “it worked for me so it will work for everyone attitude” that litters education in England

  6. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove This comes across as a typical “it worked for me so it will work for everyone attitude” that litters education in England

  7. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove Should they also be asking why there aren’t more outstanding HTs around? Maybe they don’t want to reveal the reasons…

  8. Janet2

    Is this just a ploy to get stand-alone academies and free schools to join chains which can impose their own culture, ethos and ‘brand’ on the academies?  And once in a chain, it’s only one tiny step to allowing the chains to run for profit.  We can all see where this is heading.

    Frank Green (aka https://www.duedil.com/director/905478583/alban-francis-xavier-green) is still a director of Leigh Academies Trust (LAT).  He’s also a director of Shoreline Learning Ltd.  The Guardian, in its expose of academy trustees giving contracts to companies linked to trustees, found LAT had paid £111,469 since 2010 to Shoreline for consultancy.

    http://www.theguardian.com/education/2014/jan/12/taxpayer-funded-academy-paying-millions-private-firms-schools-education-revealed-education

  9. Janet2

    Is this just a ploy to get stand-alone academies and free schools to join chains which can impose their own culture, ethos and ‘brand’ on the academies?  And once in a chain, it’s only one tiny step to allowing the chains to run for profit.  We can all see where this is heading.

    Frank Green (aka https://www.duedil.com/director/905478583/alban-francis-xavier-green) is still a director of Leigh Academies Trust (LAT).  He’s also a director of Shoreline Learning Ltd.  The Guardian, in its expose of academy trustees giving contracts to companies linked to trustees, found LAT had paid £111,469 since 2010 to Shoreline for consultancy.

    http://www.theguardian.com/education/2014/jan/12/taxpayer-funded-academy-paying-millions-private-firms-schools-education-revealed-education

  10. ellrhys

    kccv1 SchoolsImprove NASUWT It says that teachers leave profession b4they apply 4SLT. I was one of them plus gender gap #mysogenistheads

  11. ellrhys

    kccv1 SchoolsImprove NASUWT It says that teachers leave profession b4they apply 4SLT. I was one of them plus gender gap #mysogenistheads

  12. irvingphil

    SchoolsImprove as if managing one school isn’t a full-time job. Would outstanding heads remain outstanding with thrice the work? (No.)

  13. irvingphil

    SchoolsImprove as if managing one school isn’t a full-time job. Would outstanding heads remain outstanding with thrice the work? (No.)

  14. stevesheehan52

    kccv1 SchoolsImprove NASUWT what it does not say is a shortage of teachers. Not enough recruits and many leaving the profession.

  15. stevesheehan52

    kccv1 SchoolsImprove NASUWT what it does not say is a shortage of teachers. Not enough recruits and many leaving the profession.

  16. Unfortunately there is little evidence to support the idea of an ‘outstanding head’.  The evidence suggests that leaders who appear to be effective are only effective because they promote staff development.
    The adults who have direct contact with the students ( and hence influence them) are parents and teachers.
    EBTN offers sessions for the leadership/CPD team showing the evidence and how to implement it.

  17. birch_david

    SchoolsImprove the proper role of clusters should be to promote school partnership, effective transition and efficient local provision

  18. mr_m_bevan

    SchoolsImprove prob more likely that many outstanding headteachers are leaving schools and becoming consultants for better quality of life

  19. mr_m_bevan

    SchoolsImprove prob more likely that many outstanding headteachers are leaving schools and becoming consultants for better quality of life

  20. SallyHoward3

    “stevesheehan52: SchoolsImprove what a shame that these schools left the cluster known as the local authority.” Good point.

  21. paulsnorman

    SchoolsImprove outstanding means one of a very small, highly select group. The more you have the less outstanding they actually are!

  22. paulsnorman

    SchoolsImprove outstanding means one of a very small, highly select group. The more you have the less outstanding they actually are!

  23. TW

    @paulsnorman SchoolsImprove  What academy supporters want is more opportunities to get paid lots of money out of school budgets.

  24. TW

    @paulsnorman SchoolsImprove  What academy supporters want is more opportunities to get paid lots of money out of school budgets.

  25. mr_m_bevan

    SchoolsImprove also how are ‘outstanding’ head teachers selected. School outstanding = outstanding head? R.I. School = ??? 1/2

  26. mr_m_bevan

    SchoolsImprove also how are ‘outstanding’ head teachers selected. School outstanding = outstanding head? R.I. School = ??? 1/2

  27. mr_m_bevan

    SchoolsImprove if an outstanding head takes charge of a R.I. School – how long are you given before you’re no longer outstanding?

  28. mr_m_bevan

    SchoolsImprove if an outstanding head takes charge of a R.I. School – how long are you given before you’re no longer outstanding?

  29. Cherie59789095

    birch_david SchoolsImprove If students from a primary go to one of 6 intemediate options & 10+ secondary schools local is too simplistic

  30. Cherie59789095

    birch_david SchoolsImprove If students from a primary go to one of 6 intemediate options & 10+ secondary schools local is too simplistic

  31. birch_david

    Cherie59789095 It neednt be if we didn’t set such huge store on ‘choice’. Continuity and partnership benefits students more

  32. Lhedgehogs

    mr_m_bevan SchoolsImprove always under impression it was the school that was inspected! What’s that? No i in team?

  33. paulsnorman

    mr_m_bevan SchoolsImprove take that back a step and remember proven link between PA / demographic and OfSTED outcomes.

  34. paulsnorman

    mr_m_bevan SchoolsImprove some of the truly outstanding heads I have known have shone despite the system and kept focus on their purpose

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