Free Schools Charity, The New Schools Network, recently called for parents to be given the right to sack heads in response to poor performance. This ‘parental trigger’ would allow parents to voice their satisfaction and instigate change ranging from an immediate action plan through to a change in leadership.
Nick Timothy, Director of the New Schools Network said:
“Free schools are putting parents in charge, because they’re giving parents more choice about where to send their children to school. They’re also better placed to give parents what they want because free schools give more control to head teachers, teachers, parents and governors rather than politicians and bureaucrats.”
This call was met by a critical response by NAHT’s General Secretary, Russell Hobby who said:
"Head teachers are already publicly and stringently accountable - to the extent that we are struggling to get people to do the job. Looking for new ways to sack them is hugely counterproductive and an appalling use of the New School Network's time.
“A publicly funded charity should not be making such ridiculous proposals. The government would do well to distance itself from these suggestions immediately. I will be writing to the Secretary of State today asking her to swiftly clarify the government's position.”
In a letter to Nicky Morgan, Mr. Hobby sought to gain the government’s clarification on these proposals, ideally by distancing themselves from them in support of many heads who, despite achieving rapid improvement under challenging circumstances, would be undermined by such a process.
The story was soon featured on the BBC where the discussion involved a broader audience, with several expressing concern over what this could do to a sector already struggling to recruit for head positions. NAHT President, Tony Draper, took to the Today Programme on Radio Four to speak out on the pitfalls of those with vested interests seeking to politicise parents.
NAHT recently heard back from the Education Secretary and we’re pleased to report good news.
The response states:
“I can assure you the department has no plans to introduce a ‘parental trigger’”.
Page Published: 11/11/2015