Ofsted plans survey of future leaders due to large numbers of vacancies

Ofsted is planning to investigate a worrying shortage of future leaders in secondary schools, Sir Michael Wilshaw has announced.

When he presented his annual report on Tuesday, Ofsted’s chief inspector highlighted issues with progression to leadership roles and data that pointed to a “large number of vacancies” for headteachers over the next few years.

Although he praised initiatives such as Future Leaders and Talented Leaders, Sir Michael said it “remained to be seen” whether the scale of the programmes would be “sufficient to address the problems we have identified”.

He added: “Such is my concern about where our next generation of great leaders is going to come from in our secondary schools, I have commissioned a survey to look into this issue in more depth over the coming year.”

Ofsted has not released further details, although a spokesperson confirmed the watchdog would report back in the late spring or summer next year.

The survey was welcomed by the general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, Russell Hobby: “Surely no other sector of the economy would promote into chief executive roles without training, qualifications and support. We’re crazy to try to do so in education.”

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