Headteacher appointed to the role of National Leader of Education

Pat Hunter, headteacher at Rossett. (S)
Pat Hunter, headteacher at Rossett. (S)

The headteacher and staff at Harrogate’s Rossett School have been selected for a top role supporting schools in challenging circumstances.

Pat Hunter is one of only 100 headteachers in the country to be appointed to the role of National Leader of Education (NLE) in the latest recruitment round.

She attended the National College’s Learning and Conference Centre in Nottingham for a formal induction over the summer, along with training for the role which will focus on driving school improvement.

NLEs use their success and professionalism as school leaders, along with the staff in their school – designated a National Support School - to provide additional leadership capability in struggling schools or those in transition to federation or academy status. The deployment is tailor-made to suit the needs of each school. The type of support provided is flexible and can involve NLEs becoming acting or executive headteacher of other ‘client’ school or schools. They also have responsibility for bringing on the next generation of NLEs and National Support Schools.

“I consider this role to be an honour, as well as providing a crucial role in the development of other schools,” said Mrs Hunter. “It’s recognition of the success we are currently enjoying at Rossett, which was underlined by another fantastic set of GCSE and A level results, that we are seen as a school well-positioned to help other establishments.”

Many in the National Leaders of Education/National Support Schools scheme see improvements in exam results at both the support and client schools with progress achieved in excess of the improvements nationally.

The number of NLEs is set to double from 500 to 1,000 by 2014 following an announcement by the Education Secretary last year.

Toby Salt, deputy chief executive of the National College, said: “It’s great that heads like Pat Hunter are becoming NLEs, looking beyond their own school gates to help more and more pupils get the best start in life. This scheme is about the best school leaders helping the rest and the results speak for themselves with benefits for both the schools and academies being supported and those providing the support.

“School-to-school support is having a growing impact across the education system and this is thanks to the hard work and dedication of all those involved. Helping other school leaders in this way is admirable and something I’d encourage other heads to consider.”