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New analysis by the DfE of school leadership characteristics and trends

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The Department for Education (DfE) has released statistics that examine the characteristics and trends of teachers and those in school leadership positions at the end of 2016. This contains key information about our members and sector.

The report provides an insight into changing numbers of school leaders, the progress and retention of those in leadership roles, and how the characteristics of those in leadership roles compare with those of classroom teachers.
 
Key findings 

  • The number of teachers in leadership roles grew from 178,000 to 194,500 (page 14)
  • An increase in the number of middle leaders and assistant heads in primary schools accounted for 82 per cent of this growth (page 15)
  • In secondary schools, 31 per cent of head teachers new to the post in 2013 who were younger than the age of 50 and on permanent contracts left their roles within three years (page 55)
  • In primary schools, 19 per cent of head teachers new to the post in 2013 who were younger than the age of 50 and on permanent contracts left their roles within three years (page 55)
  • Twenty-five per cent of primary and 19 per cent of secondary head teachers new to their posts do not have a permanent contract (page 54).

Other points

  • Between 2011 and 2016, the pupil to teacher ratio increased by 2.3 per cent (from 17.2 to 17.6) 

  • The number of special schools grew by 36 per cent 
  • The median age of senior leaders (42) and head teachers (48) has gone down from 44 and 51 respectively
  • Teachers are progressing more quickly to leadership roles, with 50 per cent of head teachers having been qualified 22 or fewer years (down from 26 years)
  • There's an increase in the number of head teachers of secondary schools holding a master's degree (from 62 per cent in 2011 to 71 per cent in 2016). 

Long read: School leadership in England 2010 to 2016: characteristics and trends (full report). 

First published 10 May 2018