Education written question – answered on 8th September 2010.

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Photo of Andrew Stephenson Andrew Stephenson Conservative, Pendle

To ask the Secretary of State for Education what guidance his Department provides on measures to retain experienced head teachers.

Photo of Nick Gibb Nick Gibb Minister of State (Education)

We are making headship more attractive by reducing red tape, giving head teachers more autonomy to run schools and empowering head teachers to maintain discipline.

The age profile indicates that the number of head teachers retiring will increase in the near future. In 2008 59%(1) of head teachers in the maintained sector were aged 50 and over compared to 50% in 2000.

In the light of this we need both to retain experienced head teachers and ensure that we have a sufficient supply of good quality school leaders for the future.

To secure this we support:

(i) roles such as the National Leaders of Education which provide opportunities for the best and most experienced heads to take on new roles to bring about system wide improvement.

(ii) reforms made to the Teachers' Pension Scheme which have given heads more flexibility to phase their retirement.

(1) Database of Teachers Records (data for 2007 and 2008 are provisional)

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