The latest leadership puzzle: who becomes CEO when academies form chains?

Heads will have to face the delicate matter of deciding who becomes chief executive when forming a MAT

Headteachers frantically searching for schools to work with to form multi-academy trusts are being confronted by a new and very delicate problem to resolve – who becomes the boss?

Leaders contemplating creating a multi-academy trust (MAT) with other schools are being urged to choose a “lead professional” who will act as the trust’s chief executive.

The government has said it wants every school to be in the process of becoming an academy by 2022, and earlier this week prime minister David Cameron said plans to make every school an academy would be in the Queen’s Speech next month.

But union leaders said the issue of who becomes CEO was a “serious obstacle” for headteachers who were establishing a trust, because they faced the prospect of “surrendering their autonomy and independence”.

Russell Hobby, general secretary of the NAHT heads’ union, advised school leaders to avoid a situation where “six headteachers are sitting around the table, staring into each other’s eyes”.

“Most headteachers will be thinking, ‘I got into this to be a leader, I didn’t get into it to be a branch manager of a chain.’ And you have to ask, why would good people want to give that up?” Mr Hobby said.

This is an edited version of an article in the 29 April edition of TES. Subscribers can view the full story here. This week’s TES magazine is available in all good newsagents. To download the digital edition, Android users can click here and iOS users can click here

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