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Advice for new Head

Discussion in 'Headteachers' started by retroleftie, Jul 6, 2014.

  1. Hi thanks for the advice much appreciated !
  2. Sorry meant post to be longer !

    Some really useful advice from many of you Thankyou for making the time to answer.

    I absolutely love the job and couldn't be happier , however I've already had some dark moments and I know it will be really tough as well .

    Four days into headship I've already learnt to expect the unexpected and that it's a roller coaster emotionally - but I'm so proud to be the head of such an amazing school community and , just to reassure one poster , I absolutely agree that my most precious resource is my staff , and if I don't nurture them , the children in my care won't get the best teaching .

    Have already had to phone another head for advice and the relief when she said it's ok that happened to me last year , and took the time to chat to me even though it was the first day she had pupils in , was testament to the crucial support we offer each other.

    I look forward to staying in touch with the forum through the bad times and the good !
  3. digoryvenn

    digoryvenn Lead commenter

    I wish you all the very best for your first year!
  4. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

  5. Educationsvoice

    Educationsvoice New commenter

    The one thing I wish someone would have told me would have been to practice Mindfulness! After 8 years of headship, I started to research and practice mindfulness and it has made the world of difference with coping with stress in our job. I

    [This comment/section has been removed for breaching our Community Guidelines/Terms and conditions]
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2016
  6. karlo1981

    karlo1981 New commenter


    I'm one year into my headship...

    1. Be kind - it'll come back tenfold and is NOT a sign of weakness
    2. Be flexible - see above
    3. Listen
    4. Think things through
    5. Be crystal clear with your expectations of staff and children
    6. Avoid 'lastminute.com' where possible
    7. Talk to people
    8. Smile (even when you want to kill!)
    9. Ignore unnecessary initiatives - there are millions! Hold your nerve.
    10. Do not work at weekends (including emails!)
    11. Avoid sending emails past 6pm unless very very urgent.
    12. Allow people to have an opinion - even if it differs from yours!
    13. Don't jump on the bandwagon because the 'outstanding' school next door does it.
    14. Don't be scared. There are many many posts on here that are riddled with fear. Don't let fear get control.

    Best wishes.
    install likes this.
  7. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    15. TEACH. Even if only for one lesson each week. And PLAN the lesson and MARK the books. Make sure it is on the timetable if fixed or the daily noticeboard if a movable feast (especially if you are releasing a teacher on a rotational basis). Not only does this give you credibility in the eyes of the teachers but also gives you a chance to demonstrate good practice as well as getting to know the pupils as learners. Show that, as HT, teaching children is not 'beneath you'. After all, education is the core skill of the profession you have chosen, not writing policies, managing a budget or filling in forms for the LA or Ofsted. Use the time as an opportunity to do something you enjoy and are good at doing.

    16. If you encourage staff to run a club, run one too. Film Club is excellent. Start a film, then use the 90 minutes to do administration at the back of the room while uninterrupted because you are 'running a club' and can't be disturbed.

    17. Whatever you ask your staff to do, be prepared to roll up your sleeves and do the same.
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2016
    guinnesspuss and Middlemarch like this.
  8. karlo1981

    karlo1981 New commenter

    Too right! :)
  9. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    Thanks. Although retired now, I speak from experience.
    karlo1981 likes this.
  10. install

    install Star commenter


    [Content deleted at request of poster]

    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 8, 2016
  11. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Are you a Headteacher, @install?

    I ask because you seem to be posting a lot on here, and it would be useful to know on what basis you are giving your comments.

    Best wishes

  12. Jesmond12

    Jesmond12 Star commenter

    Very good advice that many new HT seem to ignore. I like no. 13. Have the courage to do things your way. What works in one school does not necessarily work in another school.
    install likes this.
  13. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    Be guided by evidence

    Do what is shown to work

    Stop doing what has been shown not to work, or has no real evidence to back it up. How can anyone complain about that approach?

    I'm not a Headteacher. Just a teacher of 20 years experience. It's probably best to get some advice from us mere mortals too. It's our confidence that you need, after all.
    install likes this.
  14. install

    install Star commenter

    As an experienced member of slt, I would say that the advice of Karlo1981 is spot on.
  15. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Yes, I have read all your posts.

    Best wishes

    install likes this.

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