27th March 2002
Very little is known about how new head teachers prepare for their role in charge of schools - and virtually no research has been done into how new heads adapt to the change.
Now a Lincoln academic is embarking on a project which aims to produce guidelines and advice on what new head teachers should expect from their new job and how they should best prepare themselves.
Trevor Male of the International Institute for Educational Leadership (part of the University of Lincoln) has already carried out a major survey of 1,400 head teachers.
Now he is to work with two headteachers to produce a benchmark of head teacher preparation for the National College for School Leadership.
Tim Bright of Bourne Westfield Primary School and Nick Ware of the Priory School in Orpington will work part-time with Mr Male as head teacher associates to produce the report, which is expected in the summer.
“We’re trying to produce a profile of head teacher preparation so that the NCSL can use it as a baseline,” said Mr Male.
“The problem is that nobody really knows what the profile of head teachers is in terms of professional development. No-one can even tell you how many head teachers have actually taken up their posts in any given year.
“There is still not enough known about how head teachers adapt to their headship role. They find it a very lonely place and the transition from being everyone’s friend to being the answer to everyone’s problems is very difficult.”
Mr Male has also been asked by the NCSL design a questionnaire for a new survey of first-time head teachers in the UK and to analyse the data once it has been collected.
“I’ve been commissioned for the task because I’m the only person in the country doing this sort of research,” he explained.
For more information contact: Jez Ashberry, Press and Media Relations Manager
University of Lincoln