Head teachers may face fixed-term contracts

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The Independent Online
The Government is to suggest introducing fixed-term contracts for head teachers, it emerged yesterday.

The proposal, which would be fiercely opposed by teachers' leaders, came to light the day after sources close to the Labour Party suggested teachers should have their holidays cut and be made to teach on Saturdays and in the evenings. Ministers are understood to have indicated that the idea of five-year contracts is likely to be "coming out for discussion", though senior sources yesterday made clear such a move would not be included in the education White Paper due within a month.

David Hart, general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, said his union would be "totally hostile" to such a proposal. The introduction of such contracts could put off potential candidates, worsening an existing recruitment crisis, and would force up salaries as heads demanded increased pay in return for reduced job security. The move would also be likely to lead to the introduction of bonuses and performance-related pay, he added.