In England, officials have announced plans to make a qualification to be a head teacher optional -- a decision some say could allow non-teachers to be hired. "Having a national, professional qualification for head teachers has helped to raise the profile and status of school leadership in this country and it is something we should be proud of," said Brian Lightman, general secretary of the ASCL head teachers' union. "We regret that the government is making this qualification optional at a time when there has never been such great need for highly-trained school leaders."

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