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The Recruitment and Retention of Headteachers in Scotland Main Report

DescriptionRecruitment and retention of Headteachers in Scotland
Official Print Publication Date
Website Publication DateNovember 05, 2009


John MacBeath, University of Cambridge, Peter Gronn, University of Cambridge, Darleen Opfer University of Cambridge, Kevin Lowden, University of Glasgow, Christine Forde, University of Glasgow, Mike Cowie, University of Edinburgh, Jim O'Brien, University of Edinburgh
ISSN 0950 2254
ISBN 978 0 7559 7655 3 (Web only publication)
This document is also available in pdf format (988k)

This Full report is also accompanied by Research findings and a Technical report



Note on Terminology

Executive Summary

1. Background to, and Purpose of, the Study

2. Recruitment and Retention: An International Issue
2.1 The Scottish Context

3. The Research Questions and Methodology
3.1 The Teacher Survey
3.2 Local Authority Interviews

4. Recruitment of Headteachers: A National Picture
4.1 Re-Advertisements

5. Pathways to Headship
5.1 Teachers and the SQH
5.2 Hurdles to be Surmounted
5.3 Becoming a Head: "You learn at 100 miles an hour"

6. Leading a School: Purpose and Paradox
6.1 A Life in the Week of a Headteacher
6.2 Health and Well-Being
6.3 Teachers' Perceptions of the Working Week
6.4 A Matter of Priorities
6.5 Teachers' Perceptions of Headteachers' Tasks
6.6 Factor Analysis of Heads' Roles
6.7 The "Other" Activities
6.8 Emotional Work

7. The Satisfactions of Headship
7.1 Factor 1: Autonomy
7.2 Factors 2-5
7.3 Headteachers as Middle Managers
7.4 Opportunities for Professional Development
7.5 Inspection: A Generous Informed Dialogue?
7.6 Questions of Confidence
7.7 Relational Confidence: It's about People
7.8 Relationships with Parents
7.9 Does Context Matter?
7.10 Changing Minds?
7.11 Coping Strategies

8. Local Authorities: Perspectives, Policies and Planning

9. Teachers' Views of the Future
9.1 Leadership Roles Played by Teachers
9.2 Teachers' Sources of Advice and Influence
9.3 The Attractions of the Comfort Zone
9.4 Confidence in Relation to Career Aspirations
9.5 Jobs and Job Sizing
9.6 The Primary Satisfier: You can't beat Working with Children
9.7 The Tipping Point
9.8 Recommending Headship
9.9 Entering from the Shallow End

10. Issues for Consideration
10.1 Stronger Articulation of the "Leadership Agenda" and Expectations of Leaders
10.2 Promotion of the Autonomy of Headteachers
10.3 Support for the Role of Headteachers
10.4 The Impact of HMIE Inspections on Headteachers' Confidence and Motivation
10.5 Addressing Perceived Disincentives to seeking Headship
10.6 Promoting Routes to Headship

11. Recommendations
11.1 For Local Authorities
11.2 For Policy-Makers
11.3 For Existing Headteachers

12. References

The views expressed in the report are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the Scottish Government or any other organisation(s) by which the author(s) is/are employed.

The Scottish Government is making this research report available on-line in order to provide access to its contents for those interested in the subject. The Scottish Government commissioned the research but has not exercised editorial control over the report.

This report and research findings are published by

Education Analytical Services,
Scottish Government,
Victoria Quay,
EH6 6QQ.

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This report is available on the Scottish Government Social Research website only