Kent schools 'without 50 dedicated head teachers'

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Nearly 50 schools in Kent are without a dedicated head teacher with some advertising up to three times to fill a vacancy, according to a council report.

The Kent County Council report states 49 out of the 597 schools in the county have either an acting head or an executive head teacher, who is in charge of several schools.

Teachers have blamed low morale and a focus on statistics for the problem.

But the council said there was "no crisis".

Nigel Utton, who is the chairman of the Kent Association of Head Teachers, said the recruitment problem mostly affected primary schools.

He said: "Primary school colleagues have said they had never known morale be so low in the profession.

"Education has been reduced to statistics. We came into the profession to educate children and what we're doing is adding up numbers and columns."

'No crisis'

John Walder, secretary of the National Union of Teachers in Kent, who said: "When I went to parents evening 30 years ago we were talking about what my son and daughter were doing or not doing.

"But now of course it's all a discussion about statistical information."

Mike Whiting, cabinet member for education at the council, said the county was not facing a teaching crisis.

"I think there's some national trends around recruitment and retention and Kent is obviously not immune to those pressures," he said.

"We are moving forward and looking at how we can support head teachers."

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