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Acting Head - to apply?

Discussion in 'Headteachers' started by ABCDETeacher, Aug 25, 2020.

  1. ABCDETeacher

    ABCDETeacher New commenter

    Morning all,

    I'm currently attempting (so far unsuccessful) to transition to mainstream after time working in the SEN sector. My background is 12yrs in mainstream, (incl. HoD, SENCO & AHT roles) before taking on a Head of T&L role followed by a Headship at a small special school and then into my current role as an LA Head of Virtual School. I love working with vulnerable learners, but feel ready for a change.

    Anyways, an Acting Headship at a small secondary school is being advertised internally by the LA. The Head is on long term sick, and the DHT who is currently Acting HT is going on mat. leave. There's areas that the latest OFSTED report highlights such as poor attainment for disadvantaged groups and inadequate safeguarding systems that I think I could put right, so I see the value I could add.

    My two questions are:
    1. I've had three interviews for DHT roles in mainstream last term at much larger schools, and been unsuccessful. Is it worth putting my time into this application, or should I be looking at DHT/AHT roles?
    2. Am I totally mad to be considering this? It sounds as though the school is in a bit of a pickle, and as it's a temp role I may not have the time/autonomy to implement the changes I would like.
    Thanks in advance!
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2020
  2. asnac

    asnac Lead commenter

    From the LA's point of view you are surely a strong contender for this.
    • It's internal and you're known
    • You have a lot of leadership experience
    • You have expertise in virtual learning (very useful should we lock down again)
    • It's a small school and a (for now) limited-term position, so they are probably expecting to appoint someone who's not been a mainstream head before
    Don't be put off by the DHT interviews. That's a different job.

    Best of luck if you do apply. Let us know what happens!
    ABCDETeacher likes this.
  3. sooooexcited

    sooooexcited Established commenter

    Just remember that it's a short term post (at the moment) and you're not known to the staff, pupils or parents. How easy will it be to get a headship at an odd time of year with only a temporary contract for recent experience?

    Because it will look like you've been put in by the LA, it will take you at least a term to get everyone on board, before you can make any measurable difference and you're trying to live up to two well-established leaders' legacies (this could be a good thing if the head that's off isn't respected).

    Once you're in post, you'll have to deal with absolutely everything and it flies at you fivefold. You probably won't have a deputy so you're on your own. You'llalso have to support the return of the pregnant deputy so you'll have to make sure things haven't changed too much so she can't claim she is overwhelmed/stressed/undermined etc.

    If you think it's for you, go for it, but I just wanted to remind you of the real aspects.
    ABCDETeacher likes this.
  4. ABCDETeacher

    ABCDETeacher New commenter

    Thanks both @asnac and @sooooexcited - I've applied! Interviews are on Friday so I guess I should hear in the next few days.

    Interesting food for thought there, particularly around some of the challenges that will come with the role. Definitely things I'll be considering ahead of any potential interview, and you make a good point about their plans for adding leadership capacity to cover the DHTs leave. I suspect your right in that the budget probably says no to another temp leader, but definitely something I'll be asking about.
    asnac and sooooexcited like this.
  5. sooooexcited

    sooooexcited Established commenter

    Good luck!

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