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Head Teachers

Volume 486: debated on Tuesday 20 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what assessment he has made of the outcomes of the local area pilots to improve head teacher succession planning within and across schools; and if he will make a statement. (247459)

In 2006, we asked the National College for School Leadership (NCSL) to develop and lead a succession planning strategy. As part of this, NCSL has rolled out the local solutions approach nationally. 1481 local authorities have signed partnership agreements with NCSL to continue to address the succession challenge, which includes a particular focus on leadership diversification and the challenges faced by small primaries and faith schools. The local solutions programme is being evaluated externally by Warwick university and is due to report in early 2010. Evidence so far shows that 91 per cent. of LAs are better prepared to tackle succession planning than when they first engaged with the programme in 2007, and that LAs are making progress in supporting schools to better develop and mentor leaders and establish effective leadership cultures. NCSL’s internal evaluation indicates that LAs are making good progress in assessing their data and developing, implementing and monitoring their local strategies. The succession planning programme met its 2008-09 targets to stabilise headship vacancies and temporary filled posts.

1 The Isles of Scilly and the City of London LAs have not signed partnership agreements. The small number of schools within these LAs participate in the programme by working with neighbouring LAs.