Geoff Barton to serve second term as ASCL leader

Geoff Barton.

Geoff Barton is to serve a second term as general secretary of the ASCL school leadership union, after being re-elected unopposed.

Elected in a landslide victory in the first contested election for the role in 2017, Barton’s first term was due to end next year.

But ASCL announced today that the former secondary school headteacher has been re-elected to serve another full five-year term from next April.

Under trade union law and ASCL’s constitution, the process of electing the general secretary must take place at least every five years.

ASCL president Richard Sheriff said he was “delighted that Geoff will serve a second term as general secretary”.

“He has risen to the enormous challenge of leading the association through the Covid pandemic with great integrity and humanity.”

Sheriff said Barton was a “well-known and familiar national voice on education, but what the public doesn’t see is the personal support and reassurance he has given to school and college leaders during a time when they have faced the most extraordinary pressures imaginable”.

“His videos, messages, and responses – all delivered in his distinctively good-humoured style – have been very well-received and appreciated.

“Geoff is a great believer in ASCL’s motto – we speak on behalf of members; we act on behalf of children and young people – and I know that he will continue to be a great champion for leaders and learners in his second term as general secretary.”

Barton’s predecessor in the role was Malcolm Trobe, who served in an interim capacity after previous full general secretary Brian Lightman stood down.

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  1. Mark Watson

    It’s really not a good advert for education unions that the “election” of so many General Secretaries seem to be unopposed. Is there really such a dearth of candidates that think they might be able to add something to the role?

    Surely any form of contest where the leader of a representative body is held to account and made to explain why they’re the best person to lead that union moving forward (as well as justify the £160,000 odd salary they get) is the least that should be expected.

  2. Mark Watson

    Oh, and seeing the reference to Brian Lightman “standing down” reminds me it’s been a while since I pointed out that when he did “stand down” in 2016 it was with the benefit of a £100,000 pay-out under the terms of a Settlement Agreement that to my knowledge has never been referred to, let alone reported on or investigated by Schools Week or any other education media. I would dearly love to know why.