Paul Whiteman, general secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT, said:
"The announcements the Secretary of State is making today will be widely welcomed by NAHT's members. Accountability is an essential part of our publicly funded education system but it is also one of the main drivers of workload; a big reason why many talented people leave, and often a limiting factor on the ambitions of schools.
"Teaching is such a rewarding profession and can provide a rich and varied career, so it’s disheartening to see teachers leaving due to the pressure of workload and high stakes accountability. We’re happy the DfE has recognised these issues and is taking steps to focus on retention as much as recruitment. A fund for sabbaticals will certainly be welcomed and is exactly what we’re asking for at this conference. Although we do also need to see basic pay improved and the 1% pay cap lifted.
"It's absolutely right that there should only be one agency with the remit to inspect schools. Clarity about the standards that are expected is just what we've been calling for.
"Removing the coasting and floor standards will do much to address the confusion felt by many school leaders. It will be important that the new support standard is set at the right level and helps direct rapid, high-quality, funded support to the schools that need it most.
"We have a track record of working with the government on improvements to the system and we look forward to working with them to help define the detail behind these new proposals and to make sure that these joint ambitions are realised."
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