Diary of a headteacher: How brave is your leadership?

Do you game the accountability system and lead for short-term gain? Or do you do lead for the long-term and in the best interests of your school’s students?

Education for some time in this country has unfortunately been riddled with perverse incentives.

Since I have been a teacher I have always had issues with several features of our education system that I have felt are just fundamentally wrong – and which produce behaviours that are unethical and not in the best interests of children.

In the “mid-noughties”, when I qualified as a teacher, I remember my first school shovelling large numbers of C/D borderline students through BTEC qualifications that were “worth” four GCSE grades in the pursuit of massaging the five A* to C headline figure towards an upward trajectory.

In fact, I remember being instructed by my headteacher to complete the BTEC course I was teaching by February half-term so the students in my class could have more English and maths.

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