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All (good) advice appreciated!

Discussion in 'Headteachers' started by geordieinsheffield, Feb 16, 2020.

  1. geordieinsheffield

    geordieinsheffield New commenter

    I've recently achieved a personal dream and have been appointed as Headteacher of a secondary school. I am genuinely excited and it's come after a really difficult year or so in my current role.

    The school is in special measures and needs reinvigorating. As a new head I need some advice in terms of what to do first. It's clear that the quality of teaching needs to improve, as does behaviour.

    I will gladly listen and consider any advice given in terms of where to start. I have a vision, it matches really well with the MAT the school is in and the CEO is keen to support.

    Any offers?
  2. Jesmond12

    Jesmond12 Star commenter

    I have no advice for you but I just wanted to wish you good luck from another Geordie in Sheffield.
    Lalad likes this.
  3. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    If you work with SLT to sort the behaviour, you'll probably find the teaching improves all by itself!
  4. Jesmond12

    Jesmond12 Star commenter

    Thinking about what I said before I do have some advice and it is based around what CTB said.

    I worked for an Academy in Sheffield doing some exam invigilating. The school was in special measures but is now good and leadership and management came out as outstanding.

    As CTB said work with SLT to get behaviour right. At the school SLT were on the door to welcome the children every morning. Behaviour was excellent and no one had their mobile phones out.

    PM me if you want the name of the school.
  5. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Have you read the book about Michaela School?

    Love it or loathe it, it gives you plenty to consider.


    Best wishes

  6. thejudgesscoresarein

    thejudgesscoresarein Occasional commenter

    I’m concerned that you have been appointed as Headteacher of a school in SM and you’re not sure as to how to proceed in improving this!
    I think you need to have a meeting with your SLT and outline your plan with them, you need their support if you are going to get some success.

    Your first three months in the role will be pivotal to how successful this will be- if you don’t make the immediate changes, you’re equally setting yourself up to fail.

    I’m sorry that my comment might come across as negative, but I hope that you know where I’m coming from. I’ve been a HT myself for 23 years, my school was placed into SM Just before I took over as HT so I had to implement rapid change.

    I wish you every success.
    Jesmond12 likes this.
  7. sooooexcited

    sooooexcited Established commenter

    Highest expectations of behaviour, dress, punctuality, attendance etc. From the minute you set foot on site.
    Parents will want to feel completely confident that you mean business and are "on it" immediately.

    Outline your vision for the school clearly and BE PRESENT in corridors, classrooms, etc as much as physically possible so that people quickly fall in line.

    Once behaviour is improved you'll be able to unpick t&l but at the moment you won't be sure of the standard if behaviour is poor.

    Hold a meeting with parents to share your plans for the school and how you're going to turn their children into the best versions of themselves etc etc. May sound silly but it works.

    Straight away find a reward system that really rewards the ones who deserve it - this will raise pupil morale quicker than a system led by punishment.

    If you have governors, get them in while it's at ground zero so they can see what you're up against and invite them in termly to track improvement.

    Do some work (when you're ready - not now) with your feeder primaries as it's likely your local reputation isn't great and the last thing you want is falling numbers.

    Go through the Ofsted report with a fine tooth comb and make sure you address every point in it clearly and measurably as they'll be with you by the end of your first term. All they want to see is that you're making progress to improve.

    Good luck!
  8. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Oh I don't know...I'm not a head, but would like anyone coming in to a school just placed in SM to seek advice from those who have been there before. A vision is all very well, but implementing change immediately can often alienate the very staff who would otherwise be in your side. Asking advice on where to start and what to do from those who have been in a similar situation (as both leadership and teacher) seems a very sensible way forward.
    Totally this...and listen to them. If they tell you you are talking nonsense, they might be against everything you do or they might have a point and you'd do well to listen. How you figure out which is which is why I'm not a head! :)
  9. foxtail3

    foxtail3 Star commenter

    I think that the OP has said that they do have a vision for the improvement of the school and is supported by the MAT, but is asking for suggestions as to which of the many issues (probably) is best to start.

    If T&L needs to improve rapidly, then behaviour will be the key to allowing that to happen. I agree that SLT will be important in helping to focus on the priorities. In the end though, you have to gauge the feel of the school and make your own decisions.
  10. asnac

    asnac Established commenter

  11. bed

    bed New commenter

    Congratulations on achieving your dream post!

    Only suggestion I would offer is that for your own wellbeing you lay down definite boundaries so that you have time away from work
    No emails/ texts/ work after x o’clock
    Nothing on x o’clock Saturday/ Sunday
    Same for 1/2 terms and holidays

    look after yourself because no one else will!
  12. Jesmond12

    Jesmond12 Star commenter

    asnac likes this.

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