New pathways into headship?

There continues to be something of a conundrum in the recruitment of headteachers in England. While “a very large majority of headteachers report being satisfied with their jobs”, headteacher recruitment and retention remain major challenges for school governors and policy makers.
In this context, the New Pathways into Headship project was commissioned by the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) in January 2013.
Tasked with considering new or alternative pathways into headship, the project focused on three research groupings of headteachers.
These were defined as:
  • ‘Fast Trackers’, who had participated in an accelerated leadership development programme prior to achieving headship;
  • ‘Young Heads’, who had achieved headship before they were 35 years old in primary schools and 40 in secondary schools (without participating in an accelerated development programme);
  • ‘Career Changers’, who had pursued another career before working in schools and achieving headship.
Higham R, Earley P, Coldwell M, Stevens A, Brown C
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