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20 things you wish they'd told you before becoming a head.

Discussion in 'Headteachers' started by everydayislikesunday, Jan 11, 2011.

  1. I've been volunteered to speak at a heads conference and the above is my title. I have to come up with 20 ideas. Anyone. got any suggestions?
  2. I've been volunteered to speak at a heads conference and the above is my title. I have to come up with 20 ideas. Anyone. got any suggestions?
  3. social worker, police officer, doctor,accountant,health& safety guru,lead teacher!
  4. dusty67

    dusty67 New commenter

    Unless your walking into a school in a category......

    Keep your mouth shut and your eyes/ears open for a while. Get to know how the school works, find its strengths and the role staff have played in its successes.
  5. dusty67

    dusty67 New commenter

    Create (and maintain) classroom and corridor credibility. Be visible and accessible. Embody the values that you want to nurture in the school.
  6. that all the support from LA (or DFE for that matter) would disappear overnight as soon as you accepted the post - oh yes and there would be a massive cut in the teensy-anyway budget - oh and i nearly forgot, that Ofsted changes it's mind on what has to be inspected at a whim. Bitter? Me? No! Just a bit scared!!!!
    Good luck[​IMG]
  7. oldsomeman

    oldsomeman Star commenter

    That many of the staff of your school will have seen it before..so your wonderful initavative ideas will be meet with sighs or crys of despair as you offer nothing but work!

  8. That whilst you are meant to work collaboratively with local schools you are also in direct competition. That other HTs dont often tell you the total truth and the job can be very lonely
  9. v12


    DO NOT try to be a new brush sweeping too clean. The loyal and long-standing common room will not be too happy if you do.
    Don't fix things unless, and only unless, they are broken.
    Use the word 'we' occasionally.
    Do not call yourself a 'Headteacher' if you don't do any teaching.
    Don't be anal.
    Don't use buzz-words where proper English can be used.
    Leave your staff alone and let them teach - which is what they are good at.

  10. Marshall

    Marshall Star commenter

    Agree with all the above BUT - enjoy it!
  11. That's about it.
  12. Laughing Gravy

    Laughing Gravy New commenter

    Get use to people talking behind your back.
    You must be very careful what you say whether it is formally or informally.
    It is very lonely.
    As a new head go with your instinct.
    You can't please everyone and shouldn't try too.
    Never lose sight of the main schools aims.
    Be visible as it is far to easy to disapear in your office with the workload.
    Never forget why you became a teacher because as a headteacher this can be happen easily.
  13. The first year is the hardest. Dont find all the battles at once. Make every decision based on what you think is right for the children. Draw on your moral purpose when it gets tough because you have to make the right decisions not the popular ones. Look at the priorities: H&S Safeguarding Statutory policies T&L. Get these sorted for Ofsted. If you have unsatisfactory teaching tackle them one at a time. Build your team and try not to let the backstabbing get to you. A large number of staff will ship out if you are holding them to account for the first time. Get accurate data & have regular pupil progress reviews. Moderate with another school if you are worried about the accuracy of judgements. Share your school development plan with everyone so that they know the real position. If you have to make rapid changes, always explain the reasons fully to parents. Sometimes they wont understand because their children are "happy" and having "fun" but not necessarily learning or making progress.
    Watch your back if you have to follow disciplinary procedures. If you have a meeting with anybody, minute it and get them to sign a copy (hindsight is a marvellous thing) Dont be too nice and think you will win them over with a friendly chat, there are those who will behave appallingly if they think you wont act. A shot across the bow will often earn you respect and show other troublemakers you mean business. Ask nicely twice, then call them in and deal with those who won't get on board. Not so brave and bolshy when they havent got their gang in the staffroom! Use absence management if you have to as some will go off sick unable to cope.
    I was in a similar position to you taking over from a long standing head. It was a struggle for 18months getting parents, staff & govs on board. Change is a scary thing but you have to convince them it's for the right reasons. Eventually the whole community will see how much better things are for the children.
    I promise it will be worth it and you will learn so much in the first year. I love my job now and Im proud of the position we are now in.
    Good luck.

  14. Just goes to show being Principal is not rocket science just plain uncommon sense. Why do many make it look like the job needs a safety net, destroy some staff and careers and then move on to slash and burn in another school????
  15. THanks all for your help. My presentation went really well.


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