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application for HOD

Discussion in 'Independent' started by performerscollective, Mar 28, 2012.

  1. Hello all
    I am applying for a HOD in a HMC independent school. I teach in an independent boys grammar. I am currently in my second year of teaching (music). I am well aware that competition will be very fierce for this job and that I may well be perceived as "batting above my weight". Nevertheless, there is nothing listed on the specification that I do not already do in my current position apart from obviously having to manage other staff members (position states that there is another part time teacher in the senior, and a part time teacher in the prep school).
    How can I make my application stand out and actually be considered seriously as a teacher that can fill this role, rather than being cast aside as someone who is unsuitable due to lack of teaching experience? My HOD is encouraging me to apply for the role and believes I can do it so I feel supported in my choice to try, but I really do fear I will simply be put in the recycling bin with little consideration due to the level of competition.
    Many thanks
  2. Step 1 - Open wallet
    Step 2 - Pay for an hour of Theo's time
    Step 3 - Find oneself in a significantly better position regards job applications
    Step 4 - Get job
  3. Only one way to find out I suppose - apply and see! You might find with it being a prep school and straddling primary and secondary up to y8 that they might not be inundated with applicants. (Obviously this depends on how well regarded it is but I know of prep schools who really struggle to fill Hod roles).
  4. Thank you for the very helpful suggestions VDL. Can I ask in the above quote, do you mean to outline these ideas within the application?
  5. VDL


    Depending on how long your application letter is - just a little teaser - something that refers to how you would see the department developing in the future. Don't overwhelm them with detail but if you see for example opportunities for the school to be involved in choir of the year within 3 years of being appointed - you would say something like 'I would relish the opportunitiy to take the department into the future looking to develop it so we could be involved in competitions such as...'
    Then you would expect one of the interviewers to pick that up to give you an opportunity to show you have thought about where you want to go. Don't be too ambitious but I was jaded from interviewing when I wrote the response. I kept being told that candidates thought that what we had was fantastic and they would just hope to maintain it. I want them to pick up the baton and build on what we have not let it fester. Equally I don't want someone to throw it all out and start again. Hence why showing on your CV that you have led developments/initiatives is important. When they ask you what you think you can bring to the post... don't be shy.
    Good luck
  6. florian gassmann

    florian gassmann Star commenter

    That's a very good point. When I retired from a very good and busy music department, that could deliver pretty much anything from cathedral-style choral services, to a near-professional standard swing band, groups that could perform opera as well as musicals, and ensembles that been in the finals of the Schools Prom and the National Chamber Music Competition for Schools, I had a lot of applicants who hoped to be able to maintain these traditions.
    The job went to a person who spotted that I had never run an overseas music trip. It didn't matter that he couldn't do all the rest (who could? and in any case there were others in the department keen to have a go), but he made the near-annual world music tour his speciality, and the department benefitted enormously from that new perspective.
    I don't think that's necessarily possible in the case of large, well-funded departments that seem to be able to do everything, but it's the sort of thing that is well worth looking out for.

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