Historian gets job as head

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The Independent Online
AN ACADEMIC and former rugby international who has never taught in a school classroom took up a position as headmaster of a leading independent school yesterday.

Mark Bailey, whose teaching experience is confined to lectures at Cambridge University, where he studied medieval history for 20 years, and community education classes, has been appointed head of the pounds 6,000-a-year Leeds Grammar School. His charisma and financial knowledge are said to have attracted the school to him.

Mr Bailey pointed yesterday to 15 years' experience in the continuing education sector as evidence of his suitability. "What's missing is classroom experience at secondary level," he admitted. "I intend to acquire that quickly by observing many lessons this term."

But Eamonn O'Kane, deputy general secretary of the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers, said that the appointment of academics with no classroom background to schools was "not a useful trend". He added: "It is crucial that a person who leads teachers must have proven worth."