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Recruitment and Retention of Senior School Leaders in Wales
NIESR
2024.02.21
The role of a school leader is fundamental to shaping the educational environment and influencing the overall success of a school. Effective school leaders inspire and motivate both teachers and students, creating a vision for the school and fostering a positive and inclusive school culture.
However, maintaining the supply of school leaders in Wales and across the UK is challenging, a situation that has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. There is some evidence that fewer middle leaders are aspiring to become senior leaders and headteachers (NAHT, 2021), and that more teachers are leaving the profession following the pandemic (Zuccollo, 2022). These supply issues will ultimately affect pupils’ experiences and outcomes.
In this context, this research aims to broaden and deepen the existing evidence base on the challenges in recruitment and retention of senior school leaders in Wales, and how those challenges could be addressed.
A key objective of this research it to set out strategic policy proposals, co-created with school leaders and other relevant stakeholders, that could help address some of the identified challenges and that are relevant, practical and achievable, with the potential to secure broad support. These proposals will inform the National Academy for Educational Leadership’s policy work around Strategic Workforce Development.