I have had several middle management roles (secondary) and now feel the time is right to apply for Assistant Head posts. I intended to start looking early next year and, if I found the correct post, aim to move for September. My Headteacher and Senior Leadership team are very supportive and the school also partially funded my MA (Professional Studies in Education - leadership and management focus), but they say they feel I ought to apply for Leadership Pathways because some schools use it as a selection criteria. I graduated from my MA in Oct 08 and am feeling slightly jaded that I may have to start 'writing up' another study. (The last was 26,000 words and put me off for life!). Are they correct in saying that without Leadership Pathways I may be excluded from interview? I do feel it would be beneficial as any such training is - it focuses the mind and prompts the kind of constant self-analysis that is needed at a senior level, but having fairly recently returned from maternity leave I am hesitant to embark on anything like this if it will not benefit me any more than the MA did. Any thoughts would be much appreciated.