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Applying for deputy headship?

Discussion in 'Headteachers' started by JiveBunnys, Jan 16, 2012.

  1. Hello,

    I've been teaching for four years, and I'm a very good classroom practitioner. I have started a gardening club in the school, and applied for funding / budgeting for it. I ran it school wide, ensuring that I took complete control of it.
    I have been key stage leader for one year, and I am a naturally organised person. To help to get my head around certain areas of headship, such as legalities, and budgeting, I am planning to start studying for my NPQH. I know it is not needed anymore, I am purely doing to to gain further information.
    Following this, would their be much holding me back when applying for my first deputy role?

  2. Spelling maybe?
  3. Long day...

    Thanks for the constructive response.
  4. Glad you have such a high opinion of yourself. A gardening club. Hmm. You must be good. Let me just make sure I know where you will be applying for headships please, so I can avoid the area... The only thing likely to hold you back is your ego. (Mean? Yes, but I want the person to know how they come across. I'm all for honesty.)
  5. Hmm, not sure where my supposed 'ego' has come from? Yes, I started a gardening club. It gave the children a whole new insight into a new hobby or interest, and enhanced their Science knowledge - as far as I'm concerned, it was a great move, the head confirms so.
    Thanks for your constructive comment...
  6. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    That you think this is enough experience and skills to make you a candidate for deputy headship is the thing that tells me you're very far from it.
    You need much wider - and deeper - whole school experience before you could even consider yourself up to the job of deputy head. Have a look at what heads have to be responsible for (because a deputy has to be able to take over as head from day 1, in case the head goes under a bus) - especially raising achievement - and consider how you could put yourself forward as having proven experience.
    I suggest you apply for a TLR in another school first and get a good two or three years under your belt before you even consider applying for deputy headships.
    It's not a race - but if you enter it too fast, failing can be fatal for your career. Take your time, build your skills and experience.
    And by the way - a gardening club is, as a fellow poster indicated - no real preparation at all for deputy headship. Time was when all teachers did something like this, merely as a contribution to the school and a chance to do something fun with kids.
    Taking on a whole school initiative that offers a proven link to raising achievement - that's a bit more like it, but you'd need to offer at least two years of results.

  7. Yes, quite frankly.
  8. Thanks for another constructive response. I expected more from teachers to be honest, I always thought that teachers were meant to be encouraging, helpful, and supportive. Yes there may be other things that I need to do to be considered, I wanted advice, not hinderance.
  9. Thank you for a genuinely helpful response. The one reply out of five or six that is worth reading - not good considering that these people are meant to be teachers!
    I know that the whole gardening club sounds a little lame, but it is probably more impressive than it sounds, and has raised attainment in Science (food cycle, photosynthesis etc.). It was either gardening club, or board game club, and I wanted to be able to take the children outside, and introduce them to something they have not really experienced before. The head herself says its been brilliant. Yes, its nothing really, but shows that I have the initiative to run something minor.
    Okay, well I have taught in each of the Key Stages, and was considering starting the NPQH. I know that it isn't needed anymore, but it should teach me various skills that headteachers need? Surely it could help?
    So my steps for the future, I could apply to a school which offers oppurtunites to become Key Stage Leader? and provide evidence that my work has improved attainment?
    I don't know if its worth mentioning, but I've also worked part time in management (with a business), so have experience of managing people. I would be able to provide a reference for it aswell.

    Any constructive ideas or criticism welcome. If you feel the need to write pointless comments though, please don't waste yours or my time.
  10. ScienceGuy

    ScienceGuy Established commenter

    I can only echo what MiddleMarch has said. Four years in teaching is not a long time and you seem to be determined to rush up the ladder as quickly as possible. Whilst ambition is not a bad thing as a Deputy you need to be seen as an outstanding classroom practioner as well as a leader for change.
    What you need to do is get curriculum and pastoral leaderhsip experience and show that you have been successful in your ledaership. This could be by showing improved results in your subject or by developing pastoral support programmes to improve reintegration of pupils etc. I would suggest that you talk to your headteacher, explain your long term aims and ask if you can get some area of responsibility in addition to what you are currently doing.
    The other thing that would be useful for you is to become a governor, either at your current school as a teacher governor or at another school. This gives you a greater appreciation of how the school is run behind the scenes and some of the issues that a head would face.
  11. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    Don't bank on the NPQH actually 'teaching' you anything. And although it has been made more rigorous (and they only allow you to start it if you can demonstrate you're genuinely within 18 months of getting a headship, so I'm not concinced you'd get on it prior to getting a deputy headship), it does depend an awful lot of your having already had experience of a wide range of school leadership.
    I still believe that applying for a TLR in another school and making an excellent job of it for at least two years is the best thing for you to do. And whilst your previous management experience might well be a help in terms of your applications (it's something most other candidates won't have), nothing replaces actualy school leadership experience.
    The best of luck to you - but take your time, build your skills and experience - deputy headship and headship are getting harder and harder.

  12. Ouch! Only hope some of you posters show a more sensitive side in the classroom!
  13. cleggy1611

    cleggy1611 New commenter

    Ok. Let me try to help you out here.
    I worked in a school for four years and had worked in two other school before that. It was a lovely school in a good area. I took on more and more in am effort to gain more experience. E.g. getting on to the governing board, requesting to be part of the leadership team, etc. I didn't get a tlr or anything but that isn't why I did it.
    After that, it took me a year of searching for a deputy post before actually securing one. I've been here 4 years and have just finished npqh and so am now looking for a headship. My current school is in an area of high depravation and I teach full time in y6 with no management time. When I leave, the best teacher in the school will not be able to apply for my job as she has no experience of working in other schools ( a requirment of the govs. )
    What I'm trying to say is take your time. Get as much experience of every aspect of school life without expecting to be paid for it and never assume that you have enough experience.
    That said, good luck!
  14. Might I just apologise on behalf of all the bullying buffoons on here who, rather than simply state the areas of development required for you to go for a deputy headship over the coming years, thought it more constructive to belittle your achievements and hammer you down for daring to demonstrate a little ambition and enthusiasm.
    Really, I'm ashamed on their behalf. Evidently, they have very little in their lives to give them a sense of achievement and so feel the need to belittle yours. Admittedly, you need to have a broader range of experiences in school to prepare you for a deputy headship (this from a 31 year old NQT and former journalist) but I suspect that those who decided to rip your dreams apart need to have a much better look at themselves than you do.
    Were I a child in one of their schools/classes I am sure I would have very low self-esteem if this is how they are happy to treat an adult who shows a little ambition.
    If any of you want to disgree, feel free to respond to me supporting your views with something better than barely hidden malice.
  15. Hair Shirt

    Hair Shirt New commenter

    I smell a Troll
  16. BoldAsBrass

    BoldAsBrass New commenter

    OK here is something constructive - slow down and learn your craft in depth!
    I am 40 (teaching for 17 years), worked in 5 schools, taught from FS to KS2, am an 'outstanding' teacher according to Ofsted ( for what it's worth), been a Key Stage Leader for 5 years inc almost 2 years as Acting Deputy in two schools. I've led lots of curric areas inc Science, ICT, Music and Numeracy including National Awards in ICT. I run the school Eco Team. I am a Governor on 2 GB's in two very different schools, worked for LA in ICT development and led staff development at school and LA level, completed Leadership Pathways and LA's Aspiring Heads course. Also applied for NPQH (unsuccessfully!) I am also a school based tutor for GTP and involved in recruitement process.
    I have applied for 3 DH posts within the last year - shortlisted for one and highly complimented on a very strong application for other two (but didn't fit the criteria on <u>one</u> specific point each time)
    So, not to rain on your parade and if you believe in yourself then go for it ..... but my personal experiences appear much wider and deeper than yours and I haven't found the right vacancy yet .... so with four years teaching experience it might be a bit of a stretch for you (but not impossible I guess)
    Look at your career long term, plan out your journey, time scales and be realistic
    If I get to Headship by the time I am 43-45 that's my goal ...... then 15-20 years as a succesful Head. Can you possibly keep up with the pace of a very demanding job like a HT for 30 years+? Time to have a good think perhaps..... but good luck, what ever you decide :)
  17. Excellent advice, and from middlemarch as usual.
    OP - you need to take this advice on board and stop whinging about negative responses. 4 years experience in one school is woefully inadequate preparation for a deputy headship. In a secondary school you'd find it hard to get a head of dept job with that experience.
    Maybe, as someone suggested earlier, this is a wind-up. I sincerely hope so.

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