Paul Whiteman, general secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT, said: “We were pleased the new Secretary of State accepted our invitation to address school leaders directly today. It is crucial that he builds a relationship with the people who lead schools.
“Today, our members have shown their passion and ambition for the young people in their care. The government will need to match that passion and ambition with commitment of its own, particularly around funding, if it expects schools to be successful at helping all pupils as we emerge from the pandemic.
“Broadly, what we heard from Mr Zahawi today was encouraging. The real test though, is what he is prepared to do immediately, to prise more investment from the Treasury in the Comprehensive Spending Review, and then how he chooses to develop policy in the coming weeks and months.
“Mr Zahawi took questions on funding, on the move to turn more schools into academies and on the need to see a more diverse group of people becoming school leaders. We thank him for his commitment to engage with us and to take an evidence-based approach. From my position on the conference platform I saw a real desire from him to be true to his words.
“NAHT’s 35,000 strong membership is ready to work with the Secretary of State, to deliver the best possible education for young people in this country.”
First published 09 October 2021