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Heads becoming like soccer managers

Friday March 23rd 2012

Rising numbers of headteachers are being treated like football managers - facing the sack if they fail to deliver good results, a union claimed today.

The Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) said that the numbers of members losing their jobs for reasons other than misconduct and ill health has trebled in the last five years.

The union condemned a "football manager mentality" which sees school leaders sacked due to pressure from local councils, academy chains and central government who have unrealistic expectations about how quickly they can raise results or turn a failing school around.

Speaking as the ASCL meets for its annual conference in Birmingham, general secretary Brian Lightman said: "We are not talking about 'incompetent' heads or those fired for misconduct.

"These are overwhelmingly good school leaders who find themselves in difficult schools facing near impossible demands and timescales for improvement.

"It is perfectly possible to turn around underperforming schools but this does not happen overnight and too often the powers-that-be have unrealistic expectations about what can be achieved in a short space of time."

Copyright Press Association 2012

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