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18th Jul 2018
A report by three education leadership organisations has suggested England could be facing a shortage of up to 19,000 senior teachers by 2022 if action is not taken to fill the shortfall.
A lack of headteachers, deputy heads and assistant heads could impact almost one in four schools, according to the report.
Reasons for the expected shortfall include: more school leaders retiring and leaving the profession early and increased demand for senior staff to work at academy trusts.
The report suggests many schools are experiencing problems in recruiting staff, despite schools estimated to spend up to £200 million a year on recruitment.
It concludes there are four main issues in finding school leaders: potential headteachers are put off by some of the challenges of the job; the profession lacks a culture of development and feedback; recruitment of headteachers is inconsistent and leaders do not feel they get enough support or feel motivated to stay in leadership roles.
In total the report suggests England will need between 14,000 and 19,000 more heads, deputy heads and assistant heads by 2022.
In particular, the worst effected are expected to be secondary schools, but by 2022 the issue will also have a detrimental impact on primaries. Schools teaching the most disadvantaged students are also most likely to be hit by a lack of staff.
The report, by the Future Leaders Trust, Teaching Leaders and TeachFirst, calls for a new generation of school leaders to be developed by supporting them move up the career ladder. In particular, more should be done to support school leaders and improve perceptions of the role.
Chief executive-designate of the merging Teaching Leaders and The Futures Leaders Trust, James Toop said: "We must develop more leaders who are committed to educational equality and excellence, from middle leaders to academy trust CEOs. We need to ensure systematic leadership development is normal in every school so every child can achieve."
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