A study investigating the influence of headteachers on their schools has found that replacing “ineffective” secondary headteachers with effective ones can achieve the equivalent of an additional three months of learning for pupils and reduce staff turnover (Zuccollo et al, 2023).
However, the study warns that experience in the job is a key factor in becoming an effective leader, throwing into sharp focus on-going concerns about leadership retention and supply.
A key recommendation in the study is that school governors and Ofsted inspectors must acknowledge “that it may take years to realise the full improvement in results from switching headteachers and support new headteachers accordingly”.
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