Women Leaders – Talking Women Heads

Five experienced female headteachers discuss sexism and success Does sexism still exist when it comes to the top job in schools? Does headship have to be frightening and off-putting, as the current crisis in recruitment suggests?

Five successful women heads talk about how they got there, how they’ve stayed, pay issues, industrial tribunals and the other challenges of the top job.

When primary head Karen Giles was interviewed for the post, a governor asked her if she could do the job ‘with those nails’. And secondary head Clarissa Williams remembers being told she was being interviewed for a deputy headship because they needed a woman ‘to be in charge of the girls’ toilets’. Have times changed since then? In an inspiring discussion, together with Bushra Nasir, Jacqueline Valin and Avril Dalglish, these women with nearly 60 years of headship between them share experiences and compare strategies and stories to show how they’ve managed to make headship ‘the best job in the world’.

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