Government and School Governors take note: there is going to be an enormous battle ahead to attract and retain our best educational talent. (I acknowledge that it is a generalisation, but) it is most likely that this will impact most on those at the the beginning and end of their careers, for, on the whole, it will be the under 30s, who are yet to start families, and the over 50s, whose families have left home, who are more likely to be free to move abroad.
A global market in NQTs
In a world where young teachers are starting work burdened by student debts and with little prospect of getting together a deposit for a mortgage on a house, how will UK schools in independent sectors continue to recruit the best talent when schools in the Middle and Far East are offering competitive packages with tax-free salaries teaching highly motivated students? Here at Berkhamsted we have one solution that is making a great difference and that is that we are able to offer subsidised accommodation to recent graduates which enables them to save enough for the first deposit to get them onto the housing ladder. More schools need to look to initiatives like this, if they are to maintain high standards of graduate recruitment.
A global market in Senior Leadership
It is not just teachers who will be heading abroad: Headteachers, Senior Leaders and School Inspectors will get in on the act too. Indeed we have begun to see it already: Vicky Tuck, former head of Cheltenham Ladies and President of GSA, is now Director General of the International School of Geneva; Dr Helen Wright, former Head of St Mary's Calne and GSA President, is now Headmistress of Ascham School in Sydney Australia; Dr Chris Ray, High Master of Manchester Grammar and Chairman of HMC is moving next year to be Principal of The British School Al Khubairat in Abu Dhabi, and Frances King, Headmistress of Roedean is moving to be Director of the Collège Alpin Beau Soleil, Switzerland. And it's not just senior school heads, Paul Brewster, Head of the Beacon Prep School and one of the driving forces behind the Prep IB, is moving to become the Chief Education Officer for Repton International. All leading lights in the UK independent sector wooed abroad. The brain drain has begun.
Retaining the very best Senior Leadership talent will be more of a challenge for Independent Schools. Ultimately there is little more Governing bodies can do than to offer very attractive remuneration packages; thus it is highly likely that we will see salary levels for top Senior Leaders rise sharply over the coming decade as a consequence.