Commenting on the publication by the Department for Education (DfE) of ‘National Standards of Excellence for Headteachers’, Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union in the UK, said:
“With increasing difficulties in recruiting new headteachers, and with record numbers of teachers wanting to leave the profession, the Coalition Government has failed to recognise the damaging effect of its policies on the morale and confidence of teachers and school leaders.
“The publication of new standards for headteachers will leave parents wondering why the government has chosen to publish a set of optional standards and not to make these a requirement for all headteachers.
“The publication of optional standards for headteachers is unlikely to provide much needed reassurance for parents and the public, for the profession or for governing bodies and will do nothing to tackle the recruitment and retention crisis in our schools.
“Many who are aspiring to become headteachers in the future will, as a consequence of Coalition Government reforms, face a lottery in relation to access to professional development opportunities and career progression.
“The Coalition Government has presided over education reforms that have fundamentally undermined the job of teaching and leadership in schools.
“With dramatically increased powers granted to headteachers over the past five years, the DfE has left it extremely late to publish a set of professional standards for headteachers.
“The new standards for headteachers offer little remedy to the current challenges faced by schools and the teaching profession.”