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Female head teachers on the rise in Wales

26/04/2012 Joanna
The number of women in the top teaching jobs in Wales is on the rise, with new figures revealing that female head teachers have nearly doubled in the last eight years.

Today, almost one-third of all secondary school head teachers in Wales are women, suggesting that the traditional school headmaster is increasingly a thing of the past.

Figures from the General Teaching Council for Wales (GTCW) published by Wales Online reveal that in 2004 the number of female heads in the country stood at just 16.5 per cent.

In 2012, this figure has increased to 31.7 per cent, with last year representing the biggest annual increase so far.

A total of 70 women were appointed to the head teacher job in Welsh secondary schools during 2011, and this trend seems set to continue as more and more women teachers register their interest in the National Professional Qualification in Headship.

For Tonypandy Community College head teacher Helen O'Sullivan, one of the reasons for the shift is that the changing role of head teaching jobs are now more attractive to women, who are also increasingly aspirational.

"Today, successful leaders need to be more visible, have a higher profile and have stronger people skills. These are skills that many women naturally have," she told the news provider.

According to Gareth Jones, Association of School and College Leaders secretary, men were in virtually every middle leadership role available as recently as the early 1990s, so the change is very welcome.

Speaking to Wales Online, he said: "Over the last decade, the gender balance at middle leadership positions in secondary schools has changed significantly and thus the more equitable gender balance in senior leadership, as revealed by the GTCW data, was to be expected."

Earlier this month, head teachers in Wales oversaw the launch of a new reading campaign in their schools.

The 'Make Time to Read' programme is designed to highlight the positive benefits of reading and encourage children to read with their parents at home as well as in schools.

Posted by Charlotte MichaelsADNFCR-2164-ID-801350177-ADNFCR
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