Headlines: March 28th, 2003

A survey by MORI, commissioned by the National College for School Leadership, found that 52 per cent of those asked thought head teachers provided particularly good examples of leadership. The next best leaders according to the survey are officers in the armed forces – 37 per cent said they provide a good leadership example, closely followed by doctors and the police with 33 per cent each. Those with the lowest scores were local politicians 4 per cent, health service managers 4 per cent and civil servants 3 per cent.But despite ranking heads as the country’s best leaders, ironically the survey revealed respect for heads and the job they do is not as high as for doctors. 58 per cent said they had a great deal of respect for doctors while only 38 per cent said the same of head teachers. Amongst the lowest scoring were politicians, journalists and council officials.

Heather Du Quesnay, Chief Executive of the National College for School Leadership, said: “We are concerned that headteachers’ work is still being undervalued. The majority of heads are doing a wonderful job in what can be incredibly complex and challenging circumstances. It is time they were afforded the status and respect they deserve.”

The survey also showed considerable confidence in the ways schools are run today with seven in ten parents saying they think that school leadership is good and nearly half saying school leadership has improved in the last three years.