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Thursday, October 21, 1999 Published at 09:50 GMT 10:50 UK


'Sandhurst for schools' to 'transform' teaching

Headteachers will be trained at the 'leadership college' in Nottingham

A training college for headteachers will help 'transform' the teaching profession, says the Prime Minister, Tony Blair.

Addressing a conference of new headteachers in London, Mr Blair announced details of the National College for School Leadership, which has been dubbed the 'Sandhurst for schools'.

The college, to be based on the campus of the University of Nottingham, will provide up to date training for headteachers and senior staff, as part of the government's campaign to make teaching a more modern and professional career.

[ image: Tony Blair says he wants the college to help modernise the teaching profession]
Tony Blair says he wants the college to help modernise the teaching profession
The announcement came as part of the government's drive against 'forces of conservatism' in education, with the prime minister and education secretary calling on teachers not to resist change.

"The college has the potential to transform leadership in our schools. We intend it to be truly world class.

"It will promote an ethos of excellence and high achievement, ensuring for the first time that headteachers and other school leaders have the professional support and training they deserve," said Mr Blair.

Among the training courses on offer will be a qualification designed to teach the skills and responsibilities of being a headteacher - the National Professional Qualification for Headship - which will be compulsory for all headteachers by 2002.

The Education Secretary, David Blunkett, also announced extra funding for training for new and serving headteachers, with £30m to be made available for projects such as the 'Leadership Programme for Serving Heads'.

"We need to make sure that all schools can benefit from strong leadership, and that those teachers with an aptitude for leadership can have access to the right training," said Mr Blunkett.

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