Head Teacher Posts in Anglican and Catholic Schools

The 25th Annual Survey of Senior Staff Appointments in Schools across England and Wales has just been published by Education Data Surveys, since 2008 a division of TSL Education Ltd (publishers of the TES). Written by John Howson (Visiting Professor at Oxford Brookes University and the London Institute of Education), the report is freely available at:


In a religious context the survey is of particular interest for what it tells us about recruitment patterns, specifically re-advertising of head teacher posts, in Church of England and Roman Catholic schools (of which there are more than 6,500 in England alone). Re-advertisements are defined as posts for which a second advertisement appeared between 21 and 365 days after the original advertisement.

Throughout the quarter-century of the survey there has been a concern that such faith schools have always had higher re-advertisement rates for head teachers than community, voluntary or other types of school. In 2008/09, however, there was an improvement in re-advertisement rates in both Anglican and Catholic schools.

Church of England schools recorded their lowest re-advertisement rate (37 per cent) since 2002/03 and Roman Catholic schools (49 per cent) their best outcome since 1998/99. Notwithstanding, both groups of school are still less likely than other schools to make an appointment to a head teacher post on its first advertisement.

Unfortunately, the small number of Methodist, other Christian and non-Christian faith schools makes it impossible to record and report meaningful data for any single year. But over the past two decades the re-advertisement rate for Methodist primary schools has been 49 per cent and for Jewish schools even higher.

British Religion in Numbers: All the material published on this website is subject to copyright. We explain further here.

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