Hundreds of Scottish headteachers to get '˜leadership training'

John Swinney will make the announcement on Thursday.

More than 300 head teachers are to get leadership training under a new Scottish Government scheme created in partnership with the entrepreneur Sir Tom Hunter.

Today Education Secretary John Swinney will announce plans to set up headteacher leadership academies with the Hunter Foundation, the philanthropic venture founded by the Scottish businessman.

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The academies will play a key role in delivering Mr Swinney’s education reforms which will devolve more power to schools and enable headteachers to take a more proactive role in managing their institutions.

The Scottish College for Educational Leadership will run the Excellence in Headship scheme for existing head teachers backed by £400,000 of Scottish Government funding a year for four years.

School heads will learn skills in “leading system change” and “organisational effectiveness” as part of the course, which includes an international exchange programme to learn from peers in other countries.

The government will invest £2 million in the next four years along with £1m from the Hunter Foundation in the leadership academies, run by social enterprise Columba 1400, a programme that works with young people.

Mr Swinney will make the announcement today at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh.

“Effective school leadership is key to the success of schools. As a result, it’s vital we invest in our head teachers and support them to deliver superb schooling for children in Scotland.

“I am delighted to announce that Excellence in Headship is now open for recruitment, backed by £1.6m of Scottish Government funding over the next four years.

“In addition, the Scottish Government, in partnership with the Hunter Foundation, will support leadership academies delivered by Columba 1400 which will benefit 320 head teachers in its first year.

“The headteacher role is challenging but hugely rewarding and I want to support teachers to take the step to headship while also committing to supporting head teachers already in post.”

Sir Tom said: “The pace of change in the world of work is an incredible challenge for our school leaders and teachers - 65 per cent of our young people joining primary school this year will go to jobs that don’t even exist today.

“So rightly we need to invest more in supporting our school leaders and that’s why we are delighted to be investing £1m alongside the Scottish Government’s £2m into world-class school leadership.”

The Scottish Government’s reforms to give new powers to head teachers have been criticised by local councils, who believe they will undermine the role played by local authorities in delivering education.