Schools seeking new head want ‘inspiring leader’

LEADERSHIP and inspiration are the main qualities schools are looking for in head teachers according to research of recent job advertisements.

A study of almost 250 adverts found nearly two-thirds of the job descriptions mentioned leadership skills and 60 per cent mentioned “inspiration” Just over half wanted incoming head teachers to be able to focus on school improvement while just under half, 46 per cent, were looking for someone with vision.

The analysis carried out by education marketing specialist Peter Berry looked at 238 national advertisements for heads positions that appeared in February and March 2012.

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“There’s a consistency in how schools describe their ideal candidate, although most are also looking at a range of other qualities and aptitudes,” he said. “There’s a widespread requirement for someone who will be able to develop partnership and community links, and who can be a motivational force in the school”

Other requirements which appeared in at least one in five of the adverts include “focus on every child achieving their potential”, management skills, communication skills, being passionate and having ambition and high expectations

Mr Berry, a former director of marketing and communications at the National College for School Leadership and assistant chief executive at York Council said: “Recruiting the best head means that schools need to position themselves as accurately and distinctly as possible. What makes an advert stand out could well be the bits that aren’t quite so common”