HC Deb 17 July 1984 vol 64 cc162-3
8. Mr. Haselhurst

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether, in his proposals for school government, he will lay down clear criteria according to which governing bodies may procure the removal or redeployment of unsatisfactory head teachers.

Sir Keith Joseph

The Green Paper on school government proposes, inter alia, that an LEA would have a duty to consider a governing body's recommendation for the dismissal of the head teacher or any other member of staff. The final decision on dismissal or redeployment must, however, continue to rest with the authority as employer.

Mr. Haselhurst

Can the governing body be guaranteed greater leverage with the local education authority where it feels that a head is unsuitable on grounds of competence and general performance, as opposed to the common belief at present that only by committing a gross breach of discipline can a head be moved on?

Sir Keith Joseph

I think the answer is yes. The views of the governing body must in certain circumstances be considered by the local education authority, but that authority retains the final decision.

Mr. Alton

Is the Secretary of State not concerned that some managing bodies are now being stacked with people purely because of their political affiliation rather than because of any interest in education? In cities such as Liverpool, all the places have been taken purely on a political basis, which could lead to head teachers and deputy heads being appointed and dismissed purely on the basis of political spite. What does he intend to do about that?

Sir Keith Joseph

I deplore such political stacking where it occurs. Indeed, the Government's proposals will reduce the number of places in the gift of the local education authority.