Primary schools' headship struggle

Primary schools are still struggling to recruit headteachers, research shows.

A record two in five primary headteacher posts had to be re-advertised in 2009/10, according to an annual survey by Education Data Surveys. This is the highest number in the history of the 26-year survey.

Of 1,971 first advertisements for primary headships, there were 796 rounds of re-advertisements. The survey concludes this is an "alarming and surprising" percentage. In 1993/94 just 19 per cent of primary headships were re-advertised.

The survey says: "In a controlled world where access to headship is governed by the successful completion of the National Professional Qualification for Headship qualification something is seriously wrong when the equivalent of 40 per cent of posts require re-advertisement.

"Not only is this a scandalous waste of public money in an age of austerity, but there must be questions as to whether or not schools without a head teacher perform less well than those where the school leadership team is led by someone with a clear purpose for the school."