'Crack squad' of heads to target schools facing Ofsted failure


Britain's biggest headteachers' organisation is to set up a network of troubleshooters who can help struggling heads turn their schools around.

The plan is to build up a bank of heads whose schools have been rated "good" or "outstanding" who can act as mentors to those at schools facing the threat of failing their inspection by Ofsted, the education standards watchdog.

The move, which will be put before the National Association of Head Teachers' conference in Harrogate, is expected to be endorsed by the Education Secretary, Michael Gove, when he addresses the conference today.

Both heads' leaders and ministers see it as a constructive way of tackling the growing number of schools expected to be failed under a new tougher inspection regime being introduced by Ofsted. It follows the warning delivered yesterday by the NAHT that four out of 10 heads are considering quitting rather than face tougher inspections.

The new chief schools inspector, Sir Michael Wilshaw, has warned of a "three strikes and you're out" policy: a school will be failed if it gets three "satisfactory" gradings in a row.