Toby Young’s free school loses another headteacher

The Evening Standard is reporting that the free school set up by journalist Toby Young is advertising for its third headteacher in three years…

Sam Naismith, current head of the West London Free School in Hammersmith, is stepping down after just over a year in the post.

It follows the departure of previous headteacher Thomas Packer, who was at the school for two years…

The WLFS was the first secondary free school in London when it launched in 2011 and is seen as a flagship. It describes itself as one of the most popular schools in the country, with 10 applicants for every place.

It is advertising for a new headteacher in the Times Educational Supplement. The school is seeking a candidate to “be the public face of one of the country’s leading free schools” and is offering a salary “to attract the best”.

The job advert said the school’s motto Dare To Learn “will apply to the head as well as the pupils”.

The school is also advertising for a science teacher and a classics teacher and the WLFS primary school is also advertising for an assistant headteacher and a reception class teacher…

Mr Young declined to comment…

More at: Toby Young’s free school loses another headteacher

Should this be something to be concerned about or is a higher than normal turnover for heads going to be far more common in the current client and, especially, within new schools or those with new overseers? Is it more evidence of the football manager approach coming to school leadership, for good or for bad? Please share any thoughts or insights in the comments or via Twitter…

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  1. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove Best bit is “Mr Young declined to comment…” which could get the conspiracy theorists going as he’s usually quite talkative

  2. Janet2

    High turnover of staff leads to uncertainty and turbulence in any school.  But the departure of a second head in under three years is particularly worrying.

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