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International Festival of Learning: Former KEGS headteacher talks about new role




It is now a year since Geoff Barton started in his new role, leaving his position as haedteacher of King Edward VI School to become general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders.

“My 15 years at King Edwards prepared me incredibly well for this role, because it was running an organisation and I was teaching throughout that time. It means I can speak with some kind of credibility for school and college leaders and that’s really important,” he said, adding that the past 12 months had made him acutely aware of the challenges facing leaders in schools and colleges.

“The first and the biggest challenge facing education is funding. There is a shortage of funding in schools and parents are becoming aware of it. What that’s going to do is drive a wedge between children who are in a school that can afford to do things, and those that cannot,” said Mr Barton.

“The second issue is recruitment and retention. We are going to need 47,000 additional teachers by 2024, not including the 52 per cent of teachers we lose after 10 years in the role. Workload is part of the biggest problem.

“The third issue is about us being bold and saying ‘what is it that we think young people need for the future and what kind of skills might they need?’.”



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