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Discussion in 'Professional development' started by cecr, Feb 7, 2011.
Waiting to hear if I have bee accepted onto next stage? Anyone else hear yet? cheers.
did you get on to next stage? Ive just done the online tests and waiting to see if I get to assessment day. To be honest, I hope that the online tests are only a small part of selection because I dont think I did too well on them! Time will tell! Good luck!!
I'vejust returned from the assessment centre today. I found the 'reasoning tests' very challenging too but got through. However, today took it to a whole new level. I'm afraid I can't say more - as it would breach t & c s . I found out within 24hrs of completing ' reasoning' whether i'd been accepted onto stage 2. I'm trying to remain philosophical about whole process- however they did say that they've had record number of applicants . good luck.
I've just completed the online tests as well and found them really difficult too. We hear on March 10th dont we? Not holding out too much hope though after the tests!
I carried out the online tests the other day too and found them so hard! I was really disappointed as I had put a lot into the rest of the application. In a way I would rather have carried them out first then if I got through submit essays and references as I felt it may be a lot of time wasted as I really don't think I have passed them!
Oh well, it is all good experience! Good luck to those going for it.
I felt exactly the same as you after having spent a lot of time on the rest of the application. I assume that's why the tests are at the end.
Thanks so much for all the replies, found out I'm through to the assessment centre in March. Well done Rachael on getting through! will keep posting as stages develop. Anyone knoe anyone who has completed thewhole programme? Was it worthwhile? cheers
I applied in December. I'm in agreement that the tests are challenging, I didn't expect to be successful but don't be discouraged by them as I got through to the assessment centre then finally found out I had gained a place on the course. I've since had a meeting and formal confirmation. The meeting was extremely useful and the course structure gives participants so many opportunities which I feel you wouldn't have even if in senior posts.
Good luck everyone, I look forward to meeting you all.
Hi all, I'm at an assessment centre on 23rd March in Leeds. Is anyone else on this one? I found the online tests difficult but must have done alright. I'm looking forward to the assessment centre but I expect it will be challenging! What is everyones experience? Is anyone from outside education? I've been teaching for 2 years and my preparation is reading a book about the role of a head!! I hope this gets me through! Good luck guys!
How did you get on? I found it rather challenging but really enjoyed the day.
Which book is it that you read?
how did you get on monkeyfeet? hope you were successful.
I really enjoyed the assessment centre. I don't mind things like that. The book is called the primary headteachers handbook. I was successful and have a place on the course depending on a meeting with a development adviser. Exciting times!! Did anyone else get on? Does anyone know how many places there are on the course??
I don't want to burst anyone's bubble, and it's lovely that you're all so excited but can I offer a bit of advice?
Sod it, I'm going to anyway because I wouldn't be doing you any favours if I didn't.
Take everything you " learn" at NCSL with a pinch of salt. It's all based on the latest eduspeak which the government want you to churn out. All the experienced leaders I know and respect have NO time whatsoever for anything they do, that should tell you something.
I am not against younger professionals getting promoted. I did an acting headship myself in my 4th year of teaching and was a deputy at 27, so I've been there. What I would say is, don't rush inti things before you've had experience.
The acting headship was my 3rd school, the deputy headship my 4th- all very different schools. I spent 6 years as deputy and then I realised that I needed to broaden my experience so took on a deputy role in an even more challenging school. Consequently when I became a head I'd been a teacher in 3 key stages and led every subject area.
If I hadn't had those experiences I would have most definitely quit my headship in the first months. The LA advisors were amazed that I didn't. They expected me to because it was so challenging. But because I'd got a breadth of experience I was able to draw on that. It was tough, incredibly tough, but the rewards have been phenomenal.
I'm still relatively young, and I honestly can't see myself doing this job for the next 25 years. It's too much, it'll probably kill me if I do. If you go into it in your 20s and early 30s, think about long term sustainability. Advisory roles are like hens teeth nowadays.
Over the last few months on the heads forum there have been numerous threads by people who have just got headships and are struggling. Staff won't do as they're asked, staff ganging up on the ht and writing anonymous letters to the LA, COG undermining the headteacher, parents bullying heads. Many of those heads are asking " can I go back to being a deputy?" the answer is yes, but only if you find a head willing to take you on.
It's a very lonely job. I love it and am happier than I've ever been but I knew I was ready for it. I'd set budgets, dealt with threatening parents, had chairs chucked at me, excluded pupils, led a school during ofsted etc etc etc. Even so, it's still a tremendous challenge. You will know in your heart when you're truly ready for it.
I don't mean to be a kill joy, I'm saying this to be helpful. Do not rush. It's not a race. No course or book can replace hard earned experience. Take on many roles, lead lots of different groups of people, work in different phases, teach in different catchments.The right headship will be there for you and when you're ready for it you will know. The one thing acting up for a term taught me, when I was in my 3rd school, was that I needed to broaden my experience to be truly ready to run a school successfully.
I think that's good advice curlygirl. Apparently we will be getting development opportunities that we might not come across in the normal route. I think any opportunity is a good opportunity but I completely agree that experience plays a big part.
I'm sure you wouldn't. But what Cg is saying is take your time getting to headship - because once there, it's a long, long way to fall and can be the ruin of your career.
I was once part of the consultation done by the NCSL re these 'fast track to headship' programmes and was interviewed about aspects of it. I put to them the question about what they envisaged those fast-tracked to headship would do when they could take the stress no longer, but were too young to retire. There was a massive pause and then the answer 'Er... we haven't really thought about that.'
They still haven't - because all they care about is filling their quotas. Beware the flattery and ego boost of getting promoted young - consider, as CG has suggested, exactly how long you think you can stand the most intense pressure imaginable.
All good advice. I can definitley see the logic in what you are saying. My intention is to use it for the knowledge and opportunities to grow myself. I already have a lot of good support within the LA. I want to really use it as a spring board to deputy headship and then stay there for a while. Still very exciting though and definitley will be good experience and knowledge gathering opportunity that I would not have got for years in my post as a classroom teacher. Ive worked in managerial positions with pressure in industry too so im expecting much the same really. Ive found that moving from pressurised sales into teaching has actually been a cool down for me! It all depends on the individual really.
Keep the info coming though. All appreciated.
I agree. I think it is sound advice but the CPD opportunities seem amazing especially working in different environments such as business; surely that can only be of benefit? I am mid-thirties as were most of the applicants on the assessment day some considerably older. Experience is everything, I agree, but age is not.
I too worked in sales management pre school and found it incredibly pressurised and stressful so really do appreciate the job and the rewards its brings.
Good luck to all on the course; I hope it is of great benefit.
I totally agree. Having taken competence procedures all the way I can honestly say it was the toughest thing I've ever done. But it took a long time to get to that stage. First we has lots of informal support. Lots of staff middling lessons ( including myself) then the formal or edited, which are a legal
Working in schools with underperforming staff isincredibly challenging. It's very difficult to have any credibility with people if you haven't had a lot of teaching experience yourself.
I agree that comparing headship to leading a business is incredibly misleading. It's very rare as a CEO that you'd have to do the budget yourself, lead, unblock drains, teach, nurture staff, deal with severe underperformance, manage staff tantrums, pupils and families, deal with the wider community, deal with emotional traumas within the community such as deaths in the community, floods, the sudden loss of a huge number of jobs etc. Deal with assaults, violence, drug dealers, ofsted inspectors, the police, social workers, angry residents, irate parents, aggressive pupils, the local authority. Set and meet very challenging targets, constantly improve output with fewer resources and poorer starting points...
I could go on, at length. All of these things I dealt with within 6 months of taking up a primary headship. It is incredibly rewarding, but incredibly challenging. Don't underestimate the pressure being a head puts you under. You are only as good as your weakest member of the team, and a bad ofsted = the end of your career. Approach with caution.
Completely agree with both you and middlemarch. I fail to be convinced by Tomorrow's Head. Having completed the appplications, tests and attended the Assessment Centre I certainly was not impressed by the procedure ( you are not allowed to talk about the centre bit) but fail to see how anything accurately can be gleaned from the story bit. It may be different in primary ed but it seems to me a very unrealistic and poorly developed piece of CPD with limited value although I am sure the visits to other schools are extremely useful. I did Leadership Pathways and at least there were appropriate strategies and useful (mainly) workshops. I don't normally involve myself with responding to forums although I do find them interesting but have been so annoyed by the TH's course felt I should. (I still don't know why they required our photo). Any one in SLT/SMT of any use needs a range of experience if they are to be effective I don't see this as being the right approach. Caution is definitely required.