Where will all the new head teachers come from? 2

In the Education Guardian today, the paper’s education editor, Rebecca Smithers, has written a thought provoking article [link] asking why, at a time when she is reporting that the General Teaching Council for England is predicting severe shortage of head teachers, she is also seeing that same body pointing out that women in the teaching profession find themselves barred from management jobs within schools.

The survey suggests that, despite government attempts to encourage schools to prioritise work-life balance, there is a long way to go. Female teachers are significantly more likely than men to admit that factors in their private lives, such as childcare or caring for adult relatives, have limited their career development (26% of women compared with 6% of men). Of the part-time teaching population – which, at 97%, is almost entirely female – only one in five is in a so-called “promoted role”, that is, one with additional responsibilities on top of teaching.  

The big conclusion, which is that women in putting home and family first they are being kept out of the top jobs, comes as no  great surprise to anybody. It is exactly the same in every profession, one might glibly conclude. However, when one considers that two thirds of the teachers are women, the fact that they are not as many as there should in senior positions is pretty worrying. It’s all the more so when one considers that educationalists themselves stress that both sexes are being given equal opportunities equal opportunities by education and that there is very little else that works against that, certainly not the accident that happened to make one male or female.


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