Saxony-Anhalt: Almost 60 headmasters are missing in Saxony-Anhalt

Many hours are lost in Saxony-Anhalt's schools because there are no teachers.

Saxony-Anhalt: Almost 60 headmasters are missing in Saxony-Anhalt

Many hours are lost in Saxony-Anhalt's schools because there are no teachers. In the offices of the directors, however, chairs also remain empty. There are demands to make leadership positions more attractive.

Magdeburg (dpa/sa) - There are far too few headmasters in Saxony-Anhalt. This school year, 58 directors are missing from the 779 schools, as the Ministry of Education in Magdeburg informed the dpa news agency. The 441 elementary schools alone were missing 40 principals. It is particularly difficult to fill positions in rural areas such as the Harz and Burgenland districts. According to the ministry, however, there is no school in the country without a leader. There are temporary solutions in which authorized teachers, a deputy or the school management of another school temporarily take over the important tasks.

The head of the Education and Science Union (GEW) in Saxony-Anhalt, Eva Gerth, sees this as problematic. Being a principal is more than just an administrative job. "It's not just about organizational tasks that have to be solved, but of course also about pedagogical tasks that we discuss together." Together with the teachers, parents and students, questions such as transfer and the organization of lessons are discussed.

When a headmaster takes over the management of another school, there is often a lack of time and thus the possibility of "thinking things out" in a different environment, says Gerth. After all, not every school is the same.

The lack of time is one of the main reasons why teachers shy away from taking on the role of principal, said the GEW chair. Especially at a primary school, the headmaster often acts as a class teacher and only has a few hours of free time to run the school. In addition, the tasks as headmaster are growing and have increased, especially since the corona pandemic. For example, in order to catch up on the students' learning deficits, headteachers would also have to organize private tuition. In addition, headmasters only received a promotion after a waiting period of six months after taking up their post in accordance with civil service law. Some would have to wait up to two years or even longer, as Eva Gerth said. This depends on when the country can call for transport.

In order to fill the hard-to-fill vacancies, the state of Saxony-Anhalt is trying to offer a number of incentives. According to the ministry, teachers who take over the position of head teacher have the option of subsequent civil service and the payment of an allowance. There are also targeted appraisal interviews to win management personalities. In addition, there are financial incentives for school leaders who postpone their retirement.

However, Gerth thinks the incentives are too small: "The school authority doesn't offer a certain incentive from the outset, but first says we'll transfer you there. So you have to fight for these incentives," she says. In many cases, potential headteachers would also not be interested in becoming a civil servant, since the age limit for this is only up to 45 years of age.

Instead, the GEW calls for higher pay for primary school heads and more time for the job. Specifically, more credit hours should be made available for doing a special job instead of teaching. Gerth also advocates the use of school administration assistants, which has already been promised by the state, to relieve the headmaster. Another suggestion is what is known as job sharing, in which, for example, two headmasters share the work.