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School leaders survey Autumn 2023 – the results are in!

28 November 2023
Nick MacKenzie

We’re pleased to report the findings from our latest termly School Leaders Survey.

The results provide valuable insight on a range of key policy issues as well as challenges and priorities of the day.

With a general election on the horizon there are clear indications of the areas where school leaders would welcome policy changes – SEND and its funding being the obvious one. It’s also interesting to note leaders’ views on Ofsted inspections with a new Chief Inspector shortly to take up their post.

Research for the survey was completed by over 200 leaders (governance and executive leaders) of the nation's schools and academies in October 2023, who shared their views, yielding some valuable insights.

Three key themes emerged:

  • The policy landscape – there’s a continued sense that the government is not doing enough with a clear appetite for change. The strength of dissatisfaction with support and funding for SEND and for school estates is overwhelmingly clear.
  • Recruitment and retention — recruitment across all roles within the sector is clearly hard. Yet the majority of respondents felt they had sufficient expertise in talent management. Ensuring talent management strategies and teams are delivering in practice appears as though it will be an important area of focus. Regardless of your viewpoint on Artificial Intelligence (AI), it is clearly going to have a growing impact on all of us and so the reported shortage of expertise in AI really stands out.  
  • Inspection — Ofsted is always a talking point but this term offered a unique juncture to gauge whether, having made some recent changes, there was still appetite for fundamental reform to the current inspection system. The firm answer to that appears to be ‘yes’ and no doubt Ofsted will continue to feature in the political debate ahead. 

We’re grateful to all the school leaders who gave their time generously to participate in this survey. If you have any ideas on any topics you’d like to see us explore in next term’s survey, we’d love to hear from you.

If you have any ideas on any topics you’d like to see us explore in next term’s survey, we’d love to hear from you.

Download the School Leaders Survey Findings Report

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Key contact

Nick MacKenzie


+44 (0)121 237 4564

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