Imagine if parents had the power to sack a headteacher they were unhappy with?
When a good headteacher joins a failing school, subsequent improvements are often credited to them personally. So when things don’t go well, the heads are usually blamed.
New powers proposed by the New Schools Network (NSN) to the Department for Education (DfE) will enable parents to effectively sack headteachers they deem to be unsuitable.
However, this could lead to the most desirable candidates being cautious when applying for jobs. There are concerns that parents, passionate about their child’s education, could make rash complaints.
Aspiring heads may think twice before putting themselves and their careers in such a vulnerable position – especially if they have taken over from a removed headteacher, or have witnessed a head’s downfall.
How would it work? The powers being suggested by the NSN simply invite parents to complain if they have concerns about their child’s school. The good news is, this is in fact a last resort.
A significant number of complaints, however, will legally entitle parents to a formal response from the school. Headteachers are already accountable to the DfE’s National Standards of Excellence for headteachers, Ofsted and annual performance reviews.
In most cases mild corrective action, such as consultations with the PTA, can be taken. But in extreme cases, the headteacher could be deposed.
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