Geoff Barton wins election for ASCL General Secretary

10 February 2017

Geoff Barton has been elected to the post of General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders in a postal vote of full members which took place during January. 2,716 votes were cast for him in the election, and 677 votes were cast for Chris Kirk. Mr Barton will take up the post of ASCL General Secretary on Tuesday 18 April 2017. Malcolm Trobe will continue as ASCL Interim General Secretary until then.

Mr Barton, headteacher of King Edward VI School in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, said: "I am delighted to have gained this mandate as ASCL General Secretary. I want to thank the Association’s members for their encouragement over these past few months. The level of support has been both inspiring and humbling. My thanks also to Chris Kirk for being principled and good-humoured throughout the process.

"I very much look forward to working closely with all members of ASCL, its elected representatives, and the staff team. There’s never been a more important time for leaders, in our various roles across all types of schools and colleges, to speak with a distinctive, authoritative, united voice.

"I am looking forward to representing ASCL members when I take up post on 18 April. Until then, my priority is to give my full commitment to King Edward VI School, the high school I have so been privileged to lead as headteacher since April 2002."

Mr Kirk, a leading educationalist, said: "Congratulations to Geoff Barton and his team for a successful, respectful and professional campaign which highlighted important issues. I would like to thank those who supported me, and all those members who took the time to vote in this election. I would also like to pay tribute to Malcolm Trobe and the Executive team who have continued to lead ASCL and its staff through this period of change. I wish every success in the future to ASCL’s members, Council and staff."

ASCL President Sian Carr said: "The election has inevitably divided opinion, as elections always do, but what unites us as school and college leaders is far stronger than any differences we may have. We are driven by a collective moral purpose to do the very best we can for the young people in our schools and colleges. ASCL’s role is to support the profession in achieving that goal and ensuring that our collective voice is heard at the highest levels of government.

"The membership has made its choice through an open and democratic process. Today, I have called on all members to unite in supporting the new General Secretary. The Presidential Trio, ASCL Council and ASCL staff will be providing him with the best possible support in his new role. We are fortunate to have an association which is highly respected, highly influential and boasts outstanding member services. The appointment of the new General Secretary will help to take ASCL from strength to strength."

The election took place between 3 January and 24 January 2017 by a postal vote of the 15,955 full members eligible to vote. It was carried out by the Electoral Reform Services and overseen by an independent Returning Officer.