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Headteacher Recruitment, Retention and Professional Development in Wales: Challenges and Opportunities

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This article explores issues of headteacher recruitment, retention and professional development in Wales, within the context of the wider educational policy reforms which, since 2011, have introduced greater external accountability into schools. The paper argues that these reforms have resulted in changes to headteachers' professional roles and identities and that some aspects have militated against headteachers' cultivation and exercising of their 'professional capital' (Hargreaves and Fullan, 2012). The data is derived from thirty semi-structured interviews conducted with headteachers, deputy and assistant heads throughout Wales. Participants' accounts articulate concerns that greater accountability within the Welsh system is acting as a disincentive to headteacher recruitment, and that head-teachers often lack independent sources of support, advice and mentoring, which they can access without the burden of additional scrutiny and accountability. The article concludes by offering a series of observations and recommendations to inform recent renewed efforts to create a new support infrastructure and framework for the development of educational leadership in Wales.
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Keywords: HEAD-TEACHER PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT; HEADTEACHER RECRUITMENT; PROFESSIONAL CAPITAL; WALES

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2018

More about this publication?
  • Previously published under the title University of Wales Journal of Education, this internationally-distributed annual journal offers an arena for disseminating education research from national and international perspectives. The journal explores a range of controversial arguments relating to education, including areas such as bilingualism, religion in education, well-being and the standards of literacy and numeracy. The contemporary drive for improved education standards, within Wales and internationally, provides a wealth of interdisciplinary research opportunities, and the journal aims to publish research reports relating to these current issues. The journal also includes a comprehensive reviews section.

    Mae'r cylchgrawn blynyddol hwn, a adwaenid gynt fel Cylchgrawn Addysg Prifysgol Cymru, yn trafod agweddau datganoledig ar addysg, ynghyd ag ymdrin ag addysg o safbwynt cenedlaethol a rhyngwladol. Wrth ymhel â materion cyfoes yn ymwneud ag addysg, mae'r drafodaeth yn amlinellu safbwyntiau dadleuol ynghylch dwyieithrwydd a chrefydd yn ogystal â safonau llythrennedd a rhifedd. Mae'r ymdrechion i wella safonau addysg yng Nghymru a thu hwnt yn esgor ar feysydd ymchwil newydd, a bwriad y cyfnodolyn yw cyhoeddi erthyglau cryno yn ymdrin â materion cyfredol o'r fath. Mae'r cyfnodolyn hefyd yn cynnwys adran adolygiadau.

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