Monday, 8 December 2008

"Radical" Headteacher Training Shake-up Anything But

"The way headteachers are trained is to be given a radical shake-up under Scottish Government plans to tackle the leadership crisis in primary and secondary schools.

From next year, prospective headteachers will no longer have to complete a formal university qualification to achieve the required level of expertise, known as the Standard for Headship.

Although the masters diploma - currently offered by six Scottish universities - will still be available, deputes and principal teachers who want to be promoted can also be awarded the standard through on-the-job training."

Tinkering, folks. This is pointless tinkering. Is the real reason for the shortage in headteachers that not enough of them can be bothered doing a masters diploma? According to the Herald article:
"A spokeswoman for the Scottish Government said research was already taking place into why some promoted teachers, who would normally be expected to move on to take up future headteacher roles, are not doing so."
Is it really that difficult? Is it? How much taxpayer's money is this research going to cost, and is it really all that necessary when the answer to the question can be summed up in one, three-letter word?

PAY.

As the article itself points out, headteachers are suffering from "
declining levels of pay, with the average salary of a secondary headteacher in charge of a school of 800 pupils in Scotland £58,000, compared with £78,000 south of the border." Moreover:
"Under a national salary agreement adopted by local authorities, a much more complex arrangement has been introduced which takes into account a number of other factors including the number of pupils on free school meals, staff numbers and health and safety responsibilities.

The result is that there is a confused career structure which can mean that, in some cases, the deputy head of a large primary school could be earning more than a headteacher in a neighbouring, but smaller, school - leaving no incentive to move on if a vacancy becomes available."

It's always bloody bureaucracy, isn't it? I think the key word here is "incentive" - not just where is the incentive to move to a post of higher seniority at a different school if the pay is in fact less than what you were already earning, but where is the incentive for a teacher to be the best, most competent, most ambitious teacher he/she can be, if his/her wages are based not on her school's quality and results, but on a whole loads of niggly factors calculated by those ever-so-helpful LEAs, who steal a third of schools' budgets carrying out the pointless bureaucratic tasks inherent in a state-school system as bloated and wasteful as ours?

I've said it before, I said it yesterday, and I'll say it again: privatise the schools, and give parents a voucher for each of their children's education costs. Let the parents choose where to send their children. Good quality small schools can finance themselves handsomely and pay their teachers adequately. Teachers' wages will be based on the popularity, and therefore competence, of their schools.

It's just common sense.

1 comment:

John said...

It's not pay.

It's bureaucracy.

Far too much silly administration, stupid regulation, ill-thought out legislation, daft initiatives from politicians trying to make their mark,red tape, hassle, stress, etc.

And HMI reports. Google "head" "teacher" "suicide" "report" and read about Irene Hogg and Pamela Relf.