School leadership recruitment most challenging in deprived areas

Recruiting Head Teachers in remote and deprived areas is most challenging, as leadership role applications experience a drop nationally, a new report reveals.

The document published by the Future Leaders Trust says the struggle is amplified by the increasingly negative attitudes towards headship roles. It cites high levels of stress, workload associated with school accountability measures, and the risk of taking on jobs in schools with poor Ofsted ratings as some of the main reasons for the lack of applicants.

The FLT report calls for a change in perceptions of the role of Head Teacher “if the national shortage is to be addressed.”

North East Head Teacher Sarah Holmes-Carne (Kenton School, Newcastle) wrote for The Guardian about her experience as school leader and the rewards that come with this profession: “I learned a lot about patience before I became head. As a teacher you never give up, you keep trying. I’m not religious but my moral purpose is to ensure disadvantaged children get more advantages. From day one it’s about high expectations.

“Nobody can tell me children in Kenton school can’t reach for the stars. If my staff were to describe me I think they’d say I want the students to reach for the stars and I’m prepared to roll up my sleeves and do that with them.”

If your school is experiencing difficulties with attracting the right candidates, then sign up to attend our free school recruitment event “How to grow your talent pool” on Monday 8 February. More information about the session and speakers is available here. Email to book your place. 

Future Leaders Trust report: Heads Up: Meeting the challenges of Head Teacher recruitment

Sarah Holmes-Carne full article: Head Teachers on the frontline: ‘You get to July and think – it’s worth it’


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