Over 100 schools now have headteachers in their 20s, data shows


Britain’s headteachers are the youngest they have ever been, as figures show that over 100 schools have appointed school leaders in their 20s.

The number of heads under the age of 35 has grown by three quarters since 2010, according to figures from the Department for Education (DfE)

Since 2010, a higher proportion of younger teachers have progressed into senior leadership positions than that of more experienced teachers, aged over 40.

The analysis, carried out by the Labour Party, shows that less experienced teachers are being promoted into senior positions while their more experienced colleagues are leaving the profession in droves.

Alex Reppold, who was 28-years-old when he was appointed as headteacher of Pocklington Community Junior School, East Yorkshire, said that when it comes to senior leadership positions, age should not be a factor.

“I think all new leaders or managers have a certain duty to prove themselves – I don’t know if age really factors into that,” said Mr Reppold, who is now 31.

“Everyone wants to be led by someone they respect and that ultimately they feel can help things improve either in specific parts of their role, or more generally.

“I don’t know if my staff – or parents or the wider community – did need me to prove myself more because I was younger.”

He said that a “little bit” of him worried that he would be scrutinised more closely, so he worked as hard as he could “just in case”.

Ann Hodgson the vice-chairman of governors, told the Daily Telegraph: “When we selected him, we didn’t know how old he was. We obviously realised he was under 30 but it didn’t play any part in the decision, he was just absolutely the right guy….age didn’t come into it.”

The number of heads aged between 30 and 34 has also increased by 50 per cent since 2010, but the number over 54 has fallen by a quarter.

Last year there were 100 heads aged 25-29, and the number of deputy heads has increased by 89 per cent since 2010 for the same age group.

Angela Rayner, the Shadow Education Secretary, said: “Theresa May is right about one thing: the quality of education relies fundamentally on the quality of the teachers.

“But under her government, those teachers are leaving schools in their droves. These figures are the latest evidence the teaching workforce is approaching a crisis point. The Prime Minister said the quality of education a child gets depends on teachers.

“They have missed their recruitment targets for five years running, and for two years in a row more teachers left the profession than joined.”

A DfE spokesman welcomed the figures, saying it is “encouraging to see gifted young teachers being given the opportunity to take on headship at an early stage in their career.”

The spokesman added: “Excellent leadership, together with high-quality teaching, is essential to improving pupil outcomes. Improving career progression can only help raise the status of the teaching profession and attract more of the brightest and best candidates into teaching.”

For further information please visit http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/2017/07/27/100-schools-now-have-headteachers-20s-data-shows/

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