DfE workforce data confirms that school leadership recruitment is a leaky pipeline

Commenting on the recent release of government data about school leadership roles, NAHT’s Head of Policy Valentine Mulholland said: “These statistics confirm what our members have been reporting for some time – that school leaders are walking away from the profession or taking a demotion in large numbers. Nearly a third of school leaders appointed as new secondary heads in 2013 had left by 2016, and for primary heads it was nearly 1 in 5, and the numbers are growing.”

In NAHT’s Leaky Pipeline survey this year, respondents reported a rise in the failure to recruit to deputy and assistant head roles, with 78% of deputy roles being difficult or failed to recruit and 70% of assistant head roles posing a similar problem.

Ms Mulholland continued: “More and more is being expected of schools and their leaders and yet funding and support for schools is being cut. This creates more and more pressure. At the same time, the methods used to hold schools to account have become increasingly punitive. One bad year of test or exam results for your school can lead to losing your job.

“When the system is causing this many leaders to walk away, something needs to change. That’s why the announcement by the Secretary of State that the government will look again at how it holds schools to account is an important and welcome move.”

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