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Advice needed for new AHT secondary

Discussion in 'Senior Leadership Team' started by scarlet03, Feb 8, 2011.

  1. Hi - a bit of an odd one.

    I was previously senior Head of Year and on the ESLT and literally exhausted myself going all out to get a variety of leadership experiences to feel sure about moving onto AHT. I was a governor, member of the budget monitoring group, running a curriculum focus group in school to re-write aspects of school policy, line-managing other HOYs and mentoring other staff etc etc. I honestly feel like I wanted to be sure I was making the right move and took every opportunity and challenge thrown at me. So, here's the issue. My AHT role is not really a challenge. I work shorter hours than I did, am constantly given positive feedback by the Head and other member of the SLT and perhaps I should be pleased, but I feel like I am not being challenged at all.
    There's also one other issue - at my school there is a 'segregated' SLT. The Head and the two deputies have a separate SLT meeting without the Assistants once a week. This is completely different to my experience at previous schools and I (perhaps naively) presumed that one the SLT I would be involved in whole-school decision making processes. At our last 'whole' SLT meeting (we have those once a week as well) we weren't needed as the Deputies and Head needed to decide on the restructuring and 'that wasn't one for us (the assistants)'. I honestly feel I had a more active role to play in whole school change/ decision making at my previous school when I wasn't officially a member of the SLT than I do here as an Assistant Head! So here's the real point - what should do about not feeling challenged? Also - is it normal for Assistant Heads to be excluded like this and for the Head and Deputies to have SLT meetings without the Assistants?
    Hope that made sense, apologies in advance for any spelling errors as I've knocked this out quickly and finally, thanks in advance for you responses....
     
  2. Hi - a bit of an odd one.

    I was previously senior Head of Year and on the ESLT and literally exhausted myself going all out to get a variety of leadership experiences to feel sure about moving onto AHT. I was a governor, member of the budget monitoring group, running a curriculum focus group in school to re-write aspects of school policy, line-managing other HOYs and mentoring other staff etc etc. I honestly feel like I wanted to be sure I was making the right move and took every opportunity and challenge thrown at me. So, here's the issue. My AHT role is not really a challenge. I work shorter hours than I did, am constantly given positive feedback by the Head and other member of the SLT and perhaps I should be pleased, but I feel like I am not being challenged at all.
    There's also one other issue - at my school there is a 'segregated' SLT. The Head and the two deputies have a separate SLT meeting without the Assistants once a week. This is completely different to my experience at previous schools and I (perhaps naively) presumed that one the SLT I would be involved in whole-school decision making processes. At our last 'whole' SLT meeting (we have those once a week as well) we weren't needed as the Deputies and Head needed to decide on the restructuring and 'that wasn't one for us (the assistants)'. I honestly feel I had a more active role to play in whole school change/ decision making at my previous school when I wasn't officially a member of the SLT than I do here as an Assistant Head! So here's the real point - what should do about not feeling challenged? Also - is it normal for Assistant Heads to be excluded like this and for the Head and Deputies to have SLT meetings without the Assistants?
    Hope that made sense, apologies in advance for any spelling errors as I've knocked this out quickly and finally, thanks in advance for you responses....
     
  3. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    Tell the head you want more responsibility - I've had AHTs tell me this and been very pleased indeed. It's likely that they didn't want to overwhelm you.
    As to the 'segregated SLT' issue, I sympathise. I was an AHT from 1989-93 (aeons ago!) and for the first three years we had a normal, head, two deputies and two AHTs meeting every week. Then a deputy retired, a new one arrived and suddenly the head started this 'separate meetings' business. I recall how hurt we AHTs felt and how bemused we were - we just couldn't see the point of it. Luckily, it didn't last very long,largely because the other AHT and I had been there long enough to go to the head and ask why he was doing it, tell him how we felt and ask if he thought it was actually better. He agreed it wasn't. Mind, I was in the process of applying for deputy posts elsewhere and didn't really feel I had much to lose. As it was, I was appointed to a deputy headship within that year.
    You are probably not in a position yet to do this - and I wonder how long this separate meetings thing has been in existence at your school? If it's a farily long time, it probably feels set in stone to those concerned.
    All I can advise is that you bide your time and then find an opportunity, when you feel your relationship with the head is sound enough, to gently open the topic.
     
  4. wervie

    wervie New commenter

    Dear Scarlet
    I know exactly how you feel. It is very similar in our school. We have a Head in place 4 years, 2 deputies and 2 AHTs. It is very hurtful when you realise that they meet separately and to my mind that makes it very much a "two tier" SLT. Like you, I feel that as a tight-knit team we should discuss everything together. In our school the DHTs are also "associate members of the governing body" which I feel makes the "inner circle" atmosphere even more obvious and makes you wonder what they discuss. The other AHTs on my team don't seem to mind, so maybe I just need to get over it.
    I find it frustrating because, like you, I am keen to get my teeth into bigger more responsible projects now that I have proved myself in my first 2.5 years in the job. I have asked for more responsibility and the Head has tried to give it to me but what I am finding is the the DHTs are very reluctant to hand over some of their areas of responsibility. I have tried to take a lead in KS5 data but that has proved difficult with the HOY and the DHT and myself really being too many chiefs. I was trained up as CPO but the other pastoral DHT is also and so prefers to keep all cases to herself and the relevant HOYs. It is really frustrating when you feel you are up against a glass ceiling. You are lucky that you could actually say to your Head that you find the separate meetings divisive. I am not sure that there is really a way around this as I suppose it is really up to the Head how he runs his team.
    Good luck.
     

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