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Friday, 9 February, 2001, 15:23 GMT
Heads praised for standards rise
head taking assembly
Head teachers were praised for their work in schools
The role of head teachers in the improvement of school standards in England has been praised by the School Standards Minister, Estelle Morris.

Heads and their staff were to be credited for the improvements in teaching outlined by the chief inspector of schools, Mike Tomlinson, the minister said.


The government is determined to launch a charm offensive to make sure heads are onside when it comes to major reforms being announced on Monday

David Hart, NAHT
In its annual report, published on Tuesday, the Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted) revealed that nine out of ten schools were now led satisfactorily or better.

Speaking at the National Association of Headteachers (NAHT) Conference in Birmingham, Ms Morris said improvements in teaching had gone hand in hand with rising pupil attainment at all levels.

It was essential, she said, to continue to invest in heads, deputy heads and the school leaders of the future.

School leadership college

This was why the government had created the National College for School Leadership, where heads of the future would be trained.

Estelle Morris
Estelle Morris said heads had played a significant role in a rise in standards
"I believe that head teachers have a crucial role in encouraging continuing professional development for all teachers," she told the conference.

"Development is essential in assuring the quality of teaching - a prerequisite for raising standards further."

She admitted that head teachers would be concerned about recruitment and retention problems and said the government was working to address those concerns.

'Charm offensive'

David Hart, general secretary of the NAHT, said that while the praise was welcome, the government was anxious to get head teachers backing their policies.

"The government is determined to launch a charm offensive to make sure heads are onside when it comes to major reforms being announced on Monday.

"I think heads are happy to sign up to the vision, but they will looking at the small print very closely," he said.

The Secondary Heads Association (SHA) welcomed the praise, saying it came on the back of similar comments in the Ofsted report.

"The country has largely failed to recognise that it has a successful school system on which to build in the future," general secretary, John Dunford, said.

"Head teachers all too often haven't been given due recognition for that success," he said.

But he cautioned that praise from government ministers was often couched in terms of the things heads were doing wrong and the ways in which they were to put them right.

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See also:

23 Nov 00 | Education
Heads warm to Blair
12 Jan 01 | Education
Head teachers hard to replace
23 Nov 00 | Education
More aspire to be head teachers
22 Nov 00 | Education
Head teachers 'in short supply'
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