Headteacher boost for Suffolk

SCHOOLS in Suffolk and Essex have received a boost after a batch of newly qualified headteachers took up jobs - at a time when there is a national shortage.

SCHOOLS in Suffolk and Essex have received a boost after a batch of newly qualified headteachers took up jobs - at a time when there is a national shortage.

The 79 new headteachers are set to take up their first posts after receiving their qualification at a ceremony this month.

The Suffolk branch of the National Union of Teacher's (NUT) last night welcomed the news, saying it had become increasingly difficult to fill some permanent headships in the county.

Chairman Graham White said: 'The bottom line is we want a good, permanent, effective head in every school in Suffolk. That is the only way education is going to improve here.'

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He added with the axe currently hanging over Suffolk's middle schools a number of them could not attract a permanent headteacher and there was a similar situation for schools approaching academy status and those in special measures.

The regional headteacher boost comes less than a year after Steve Munby, the head of the National College of School Leadership (NCSL), said a demographic bulge meant many heads are now approaching 60.

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He had warned at an annual conference that more than half of England's headteachers could retire in the next four years.

The NCSL was set up by the Government to develop school leadership and their National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH) becomes mandatory for all people wanting to apply for a head role from next month.

Pauline Smith, a national succession consultant for the NCSL, said: 'It is fantastic to see so many aspiring headteachers in Suffolk and Essex gaining the qualification they need to take on this challenging and highly rewarding career.

'Headteachers play such an important role in increasing the life chances of the young people in their schools and play a significant role in the local community itself.'

The 79 graduates, 51 from Essex and 28 from Suffolk, received their NPQH at a graduation ceremony held at Churchill College, Cambridge on March 14.

The NPQH takes six to 15 months to complete, with a new fast track system set to come in next year.

Teachers who have already taken up a post in a Suffolk or Essex school as a result of the qualification:

Belinda Harvey, Kersey CEVCP School.

Annie Minton, Coldfair Green CP School, Knodishall.

Philippa Collingwood, Fen Park Primary School, Lowestoft.

Liz Maycock, Little Waltham CEVA Primary School, Chelmsford.

Val Metcalf, Harwich Community Primary School and Nursery.

Deborah Crabb, Great Tey C of E Primary School, Great Tey, Colchester.

Joe Figg, Purleigh Community Primary School, Purleigh.

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