Speaking to an audience of headteachers from independent and state schools at the Brighton College Educational Conference, Schools Minister Nick Gibb outlined the government’s approach to school leadership, saying.: “Good government does not improve public services. It sets the conditions in which public services can improve themselves. That is what our reforms are achieving in this country’s state schools.”
Mr Gibb encouraged independent schools to use their expertise to sponsor academies and free schools. He acknowledged that “having enough school leaders with the right skills and experience” is crucial to the success of a more autonomous, ‘school-led system’. He pointed to plans set out in the recent White Paper to redesign the NPQ for headship, support innovative programmes to train new leaders, and introduce ‘improvement periods’ to give heads taking on challenging schools sufficient time to make impact before the next Ofsted inspection. He acknowledged that changes to assessment and the curriculum are currently creating a challenge for school leaders but said that these changes are necessary to improve education in the long term.
Governors frequently report difficulty recruiting high calibre headteachers as among the greatest obstacles for their schools; NGA is working with ASCL and NAHT to create a new Foundation for Leadership in Education.