Headteacher-business plans unveiled

Published: Monday 23rd February 2015 by The News Editor

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Headteachers would receive business and leadership coaching under Labour plans aimed at raising standards and improving management of multi-million pound school budgets.

Shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt is to unveil proposals which include bolstering the role of business in schools by asking employers to offer partnerships to heads in a bid to harness expertise in the community.

A s chool leadership institute has also been mooted, with Labour suggesting there is a need for a new approach on developing the qualifications of headteachers via a profession-led body.

They add the institute would accredit the “best headship qualifications” and seek to increase the number of female and black and minority ethnic (BAME) head teachers.

Figures collected by Labour in Parliament show the number of people who graduated from the National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH) programme fell to 194 in 2013/14 compared to 1,165 in 2011/12.

The data adds 1,089 people completed the programme in 2009/10 during the previous Labour administration and 1,345 in 2010/11 – after the coalition came to power.

In February 2012, the Government said the NPHQ was no longer mandatory for first-time serving headteachers in an attempt to allow senior school leaders to s ecure headteacher positions via different ways.

Mr Hunt is set to reveal Labour’s plans on a visit to th e City Academy in Hackney, east London. The school is partnered with KPMG.

The Labour front-bencher reiterated the party has previously pledged to protect the education budget by increasing school funding in line with inflation.

He said: “But to ensure we get value for money for every penny spent we need all of our schools to be led by skilled and valued headteachers focused on raising standards.

“Headteachers today manage multi-million pound budgets and are often responsible for over 100 staff.

“To support them in this hugely important and challenging task, we are working with the Confederation of British Industry and Business in the Community to ask some of the best business leaders in Britain to share their expertise.

“Businesses want schools to equip the next generation with the skills needed to succeed. And headteachers will benefit from the help that business is ready to give them.

“We have many excellent headteachers in this country, but under this Government standards have been allowed to slip with ministers waiving the requirement for heads to hold qualifications.

“The lack of support for headteachers is a major reason why Ofsted has found thousands of schools are now facing a crisis in leadership.”

Mr Hunt said b usiness leaders, headteachers and government have a part to play in providing the best education for every child.

He added: ” By working together we can ensure all schools, all children and all businesses benefit from the top-quality leadership needed for headteachers to manage effectively.

“Headteachers deserve a new profession-led institute focused on raising standards in schools to create powerful and life-changing schools so that every child succeeds.”

Stephen Howard, chief executive of Business in the Community (BITC), said: “Developing a long-term school partnership is one of the best ways that a business can contribute toward a fairer society and our aspiration is that every school is able to benefit from a high-quality business partnership.

“By ensuring that all schools have access to a range of business support we can break the cycle where only one in eight children from low-income homes go on to achieve a high-income as an adult.”

Published: Monday 23rd February 2015 by The News Editor

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