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Advice - Applying for Second in Department Role

Discussion in 'Education news' started by fwadee, Jul 10, 2020.

  1. fwadee

    fwadee New commenter

    Afternoon all, I have taught in secondary schools since 2007. I spent the last year in FE to see what it was like. I would like to return to teaching at school and feel that I would like to take on the challenge of a second in department role. Is there any advice you can offer me in terms of the application and what to include in a personal statement motivating my application. Do schools specifically look for teachers who have had previous second in department roles or are they open to giving opportunities to classroom practitioners with years of experience who are willing to take on the challenge?
  2. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    Good luck.
    Depends on the school. You need to match your application to every point of the person specification, and show that you can play a part in managing curriculum, teaching and learning.
    agathamorse and fwadee like this.
  3. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    Might help if you're the head's cousin's best friend's sibling.
    greeneyes likes this.
  4. fwadee

    fwadee New commenter

    I have taught in many different settings but how do I evidence managing curriculum or managing teaching if I have not managed a team before? This is my first time applying for a second in department role; I have essentially been a classroom teacher up until now.
  5. fwadee

    fwadee New commenter

    No such luck!
  6. install

    install Star commenter

    Imho coming immediately from FE it would be difficult for you just to step into a 2ic role in a sec school. Unless you apply to a failing school struggling to fill such a role.

    A better approach might be to get a job first in a sec school and build your reputation up that way.
  7. fwadee

    fwadee New commenter

  8. fwadee

    fwadee New commenter

    I’ve only been in FE for one year. Wanted to try it out but dislike the lack of subject variety. I’ve taught in secondary schools since 2007 across KS3,4 and 5 so I have lots of classroom experience. Was on UPS before taking year out to try FE
  9. install

    install Star commenter

    Yes - the move out of dec schs may look and sound questionable. Why the move exactly and why didn’t you stick with sec ?
  10. fwadee

    fwadee New commenter

    Moved to FE to see broaden experience by teaching outside of schools. I did not like it - constant teaching of the same material to GCSE Resits. The lack of variety of teaching groups and material was not stimulating at all. Furthermore College has restructured and now being asked to teach Foundation. There is no longer even a Maths department. How does one share ideas and good practice? I enjoy MATHS and sharing that with students and inspiring them to learn. I can’t reconcile that with teaching basic maths to learners who are being forced to complete some sort of Maths qual. because they need it to complete their vocational training. I would not enjoy it and not do justice to learners as a result.
  11. install

    install Star commenter

    So what do you think the competition for a 2ic post will offer?
  12. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    For starters you've managed the curriculum for the classes and courses you've taught. You've managed the teaching and learning for a variety of classes and found out what works, and what doesn't work. You've had a range of professional conversations both formal and informal as well as CPD with people in and out of your school.
    In your foray into FE, you observed what school leavers go on to, what skills they need for success and what skills schools might need develop.
    Or maybe you haven't, in which case I hope another poster can help you.
    agathamorse and fwadee like this.
  13. fwadee

    fwadee New commenter

    I have indeed done all of these. You just helped see that. Thank you.
    agathamorse and phlogiston like this.
  14. Chesters8

    Chesters8 New commenter

    I understand where you are coming from @fwadee . I moved from many years as head of maths in secondary to FE 5 years ago. The first year in FE was mainly GCSE resit, but then I have been able to move to mainly teaching adults and A level, so if you stayed in FE it might get more interesting.
    However if you do want to move back to secondary your FE experience may also have provided evidence of the following, as well as those that @phlogiston stated:

    -Understanding how maths relates to the world of work/careers/apprenticeships which will help you motivate students and organise events such as STEM and industry days.

    -Because you have been working mainly with resit students you have developed skills that will be useful in motivating pupils and you are also an expert in revision strategies, so vital for raising standards of achievement.

    -As you will almost certainly have taught students in FE from a range of vocational areas, you have skills in effective liaison across faculties, raising awareness of how maths links to other areas.

    -You are a highly skilled practitioner in embedding literacy within the maths curriculum.

    -Maybe some support staff or learning mentors were involved in your lessons - in which case, you managed a team of support staff.

    - In FE, managers are not necessarily subject specialists, and it is often up to the team of people who teach the maths resits to produce curriculum planning and resources between them so maybe for example you might have 'lead on curriculum design and implementation for algebra' for a team of 6 staff and 500 learners. [So the lack of formal Maths dept structure in your current situation may be to your advantage.]

    -Many FE colleges now have combined departments for foundation English and Maths and there must be scope for using this to explain how you will help to raise standards in school where it is essential for pupils to gain both English and Maths.

    Obviously don't lie but I am sure you will have most of the experiences above and can use them for a successful application. Good luck.
    agathamorse, fwadee and phlogiston like this.
  15. install

    install Star commenter

    Which are all great for FE imho but not so good for sec.

    I wouldn’t push the FE side of things too much if I wanted to move back to sec. I would look for a good reason to explain the jump out and the jump back in though.

    Competition wise, there will be others who stayed loyal to sec and who have cut their teeth consistently in the previous years along with the changes that have taken place.
    agathamorse likes this.
  16. CabbageWhite20

    CabbageWhite20 Occasional commenter

    I’m not sure one year in FE constitutes not ‘staying loyal’ to secondary! Variety is a good thing and you have been given lots of good points in posts above explaining how you can make your experience sound relevant. Good luck!
    fwadee and agathamorse like this.
  17. install

    install Star commenter

    Maybe some will see it that way. I am involved in recruitment and it certainly would be taken out of the selection pile if there were good competition for the role.

    Others might say leaving the sec sector completely and after so long , then leaving the FE sector after only dabbling in it for a year raises questions.

    I do wish the op well , but the reality is that the competition in good schools will have ‘more recent’ experience in sec and stuck at it. And schools wouldn’t want to risk taking on a candidate who might leave after a year.

    I still think a job in sec is possible but not as a 2ic unless it is a failing school, a temporary cover or maybe a private school.
  18. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    I think they usually promote 2nd from within. Rarely advertise this. Much better to have a blue burner work their socks off for 3 years and reward them with 2nd I C. - from a SLT perspective.
    agathamorse and install like this.
  19. install

    install Star commenter

  20. fwadee

    fwadee New commenter

    The school has advertised. So am I to assume the advert is merely to comply with fair recruitment policy when the school intends to promote someone internally to 2ic?

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