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Advice for new deputy

Discussion in 'Senior Leadership Team' started by gibboanseo, Sep 4, 2012.

  1. Hi All,
    I have just started my new job as the deputy head of a primary school. Today when I went in to my office, which is small, I was surprised to find that the assistant headteacher of the school has decided to move into my office with me (despite already having his own office upstairs). I now only have a desk and computer, as the other small table in my office now have his computer on it and my shelves have been re-arranged to fit his stuff on it. He is also ordering things like a mirror and more shelving for the office. He has said that he wants us to work closely, so will make his office upstairs a working place for him and use my office as his main space.
    While I can see logic in us working closely and I have no problem with this, I have nowhere in my office for people to sit or talk to people. 5 of the new NQTs in the school came to speak to me today, but had to step outside to the hallway to speak to them privately. Also the deputy label was removed from the door as he wants to get one with his title and put them both up together. When people spoke to me or asked me questions, he answered for me or contradicted what I had said. Staff seemed to be popping in every 5 minutes to chat to him about random stuff (not work related).
    I found the whole experience really strange and am starting to wonder if he wanted to be deputy and I stood on his toes. I was going to speak to the head about it, but they have a very good relationship and I don't want to sound petty or cause trouble. He has told the head that it makes sense for us to work really closely, but when I asked some questions or anything he was definitely not wiling to help. For example, I asked him to show me where a timetable is on the system and he said he would in 2 minutes - an hour later I found him chatting about football in the hall with two teaching assistantsand and had to ask 2 more times. I can't help but feel this person is crossing the line and if I don't say something I could regret it. I have spoken to him about keeping his office and me having mine, but he is having none of it.
    Anyone got any advice?
  2. Seems obvious that you don't have adequate space to carry out your duties. I imagine this is a larger primary school (given that you have 5 NQTs), so really there is no need for a lack of space. Will his/your teaching commitments (if applicable) overlap?
    This is an issue which could affect your performance in your role so I would think you should speak to the head sensitively about it, you could start casually mentioning you feel you need space in order to concentrate. If the Head is a professional his/her relationship with the AHT should not come into this.
    Perhaps you could suggest that you should have his old office if he really wants your office? If it's upstairs it probably has a better view anyway.
  3. Speak with the HEAD. If s/he has sanctioned this, put your own view (objectively), but you might have to grin and bear it. If s/he hasn't sanctioned it (and agrees with you), ask her/him to deal with the situation as SLT line manager.
  4. anon2799

    anon2799 New commenter

    Speak to the head straight away. Tell them that it will prevent you from doing your job effectively. It seems odd to me that the deputy has to share an office but the assistant head effectively has 2 offices, one shared and one of his own. I would suggest that if this is about working closely, the head might suggest that you have the assistant head's other office as your own for when you need to meet with others in private.
    If that doesn't work I think you need to seek advice as this seems particularly odd behaviour - if this hasn't happened with the previous deputy and nothing was mentioned about it before you started I think there may be ulterior motives.
  5. All of the above, and go armed with 'perhaps we could work together/ liase at this time and put it on our timetables' so it still sounds like you think working closely is a good idea - you're a team player, but you need your space!
  6. My oh my, I have a similar problem, except I am an AHT who has just arrived in a school, where the DHT has been established for a while. As well as producing a whole series of tasks for me, he contradicts nearly every suggestion that I make with 'We've tried that before!'. He is also very close to the Head, to the point where the emails I send to the Head are forwarded to the DHT, who then replies to them. I have a feeling that I am being set up as a 'fall guy' for the coming OFSTED, as my job description seems to be changing all the time. Help!

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