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Applying for post in school in Special Measures

Discussion in 'Primary' started by whowhatwhy, Feb 21, 2011.

  1. Hi,
    I'm currently applying for post on SLT of school that has just gone into special measures. Any advice on things to include in application or research if was to get interview?
    I have read ofsted and visited school, discussing issues from the report - mainly to do with standards and assesment, though lots of other areas to improve. Any advice?
    Thanks
    www
     
  2. The Red Heron

    The Red Heron New commenter

    In a nutshell..why would you want to do that?
    You do know the following dont you?
    County will be in every week on you
    Your teaching and learning will be scrutinised intensely
    Your planning will need to be in the minutest detail to justify everything you do=this will lead to it taking 3 times longer than you are used to
    If you are SMT you will have to be prepared to become extremely unpopular as messages for staff will not be well received and there will be capability procedures already going on
    Your own teaching must be outstanding at all times if you are to have any credibility
    Your hours will be long, intense and to be honest an absolute grind
    Ive been there and done it and tell you from experience I wouldnt do it for 50k a year...theres more to life..it drags you down in the end

     
  3. The school is looking for rapid improvemet and has lots of support from county. Know abit about school from a few different people and am up for a challenge. Experience I will get in terms of developing leadership experience will be more than I could get anywhere else and after a year and a term (Easter start) I would be ready to go into SLT post in another school.
    I work hard and put in extra hours where needed, I am totally prepared for the fact that it wont be easy but thank you for advice.
    www
     
  4. The Red Heron

    The Red Heron New commenter

    and after a year and a term (Easter start) I would be ready to go into SLT post in another school.
    Hmmm...not quite sure where you get that from but hey ho....
    It's your life..
    Worst case scenario:
    Staff despise you (as in SM it really is them and us)
    Your teaching goes downhill
    Your monitored to the hilt
    You become the biggest paper pusher in England (evidence trails)
    You will need to work weekends and evenings, your social life( if you have one) suffers
    All this from direct experience and knowing a lot of people who have gone through it and say 'never again'
     
  5. and after a year and a term (Easter start) I would be ready to go into SLT post in another school.
    Hmmm...not quite sure where you get that from but hey ho....
    Discussions with people from county, head at the school and head at my school.
    Thank you for giving me advice from the point of view of having been there. It's issues like those you have mentioned that will help my decision on applying
    www
     
  6. The Red Heron

    The Red Heron New commenter

    No worries...but to just remember:
    County dont give two figs about you, if you go in and arent capable of sorting the school out then you wont be going anywhere
    The current HT is totally in the sh.it and this could be their making, you wont know the whole truth at any stage, only what county and the HT want you to know
    re:your present HT they will say anything, they may wont you out for a number of reasons
    Just remember County and HTs are devious and corrupt, they are better spinners then Peter Mandelson, if your teaching starts to go downhill or you take too long adjusting (a certain amount of de skilling always happens when you change school) then you're stuffed. What schools and HTs are looking for are outstadning teachers more than anything, thats takes precedence over the ability to paper push and sound good in staff meetings with the latest jargon

     
  7. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Whilst I do understand RedHeron's misgivings. Yes, it won't be easy but if no-one stepped foreard & tried to improve conditions for the children . . .?
    It sounds to me as if you might be the person to put up with all the trials & tribulations of being an SMT of a school in special measures. Yes there will de difficulties, being SMT is never easy at the best of times but I have seen a couple of colleagues who've done wonders in such schools & thereafter been headhunted to reproduce the effect in other schools.
    I'd say try for it!
     
  8. The Red Heron

    The Red Heron New commenter

    All depends on the sort of person you are Lara and www-this takes someone who is willing to put their life on hold for 2 years and have the skin the thickness of a rhino
    Lets face it, some of the teachers there will be on capability as the school is inadequate, therefore attainment and proress must be and hence so must teaching and learning..
    www. will be part of a team of people charged with getting people out on their ear and replacing them with naive cheap fresh faced people
    If he/she is happy to do this, sit through union after union meeting then fair enough...but I can not see how this is a happy and positive thing for anyone to do voluntarily for a few extra quid
    I talk from direct experience and many years in teaching not from 'a what my friends' did viewpoint
     
  9. Thanks Lara - your view is the one I have heard from colleagues but know there would be others with view of Red Heron. I understand that it will not be easy but to go in and create an environment where the children are learning and progressing is a challenge I'd quite enjoy. Though do realise there are lots of additional pressures.
    Any views/advice from other posters?
    www
     
  10. I wasn't SMT but did spend 2 years in a school in special measures.
    I would never want to go through that experience again. The endless slog of paperwork, working so hard to try and do your best for the children you teach and constantly being told that nothing is good enough. Every time you succeed at something the goalposts move drastically. It is emotionally draining and once it starts to seep into the staffroom the atmosphere can become unbearable and even more exhausting. You try to stay positive but it isn't that easy!
     
  11. I am echoing pinkflipflop I am afraid... in one now and at times it is hell. We got new teachers, new head, a new deputy and the teachers who stayed became SMT.
    I would really think about how good you are going to be (with utter honesty), I was classed as good/outstanding (numerous schools and numerous ofsted) and now it isn't good enough and I get ripped apart with ease along with everyone else. We are expected to come out in our 3rd visit (summer) and it is hard.... and in one more year I will be leaving- head high and without looking back.

    Its a hard slog as a teacher and you lose everything- confidence, enthusiasm, a life...... so I couldn't imagine being SLT here. I HAVE to hand in 18 plans (2-3 pages each) and I HAVE to hand in 18 plans annotated from the previous week as a weekly ritual for the SMT to scrutinise and be able to observe whenever they like from them.

    Think hard......... course there are positives (I have made some extremely close friends as they are the only ones that understand me) but it is not all sunny side up
     
  12. tafkam

    tafkam Occasional commenter

    Having worked in a school that just escaped SM, I sometimes wish it had gone in, because at least that way I wouldn't have felt like I was working alongside a staff who felt that things were just fine.
    I think the key is going to be to know the Ofsted report inside out. Also, ask if it would be possible to see the SEF or SDP in advance so you can look at the school's own evaluation of what needs to be done to see where you can fit in. And if they're reluctant to share, then let that raise questions in your mind.
     
  13. I spent 2 years working in a special measures school. I started just after it went in and left 2 years later after it finally came out. While I was not in SLT I can vouch for not disliking all of those who were. All of the above points are pretty much true of my experience. I will never go for a job in a special measures school again however, I wouldnt change the experience for the world. Yes it was the hardest two years of my teaching career but I learnt alot and made some life long friends. Yes SLT rubbed alot of people up the wrong way on many occasions but I would say at least half of the SLT had the skills to help and support the staff in a way that was greatly appreciated. Hope this helps.
     
  14. Only for the mentally insane I would say
    At least get the FFT and Raise Online data and end of Y6 predictions til 2013-14 so you know the size of the task but Id avoid it like the plague
     
  15. I was HT of a special measures school for a while and was disgusted with the carry-on by the advisors, HMI, local authority, appointed chair of govs and the way that the staff of the school were treated and regarded.
    No matter how much we did, how much we improved, what evidence we had of enormous changes in children's standards and behaviour - it was good but never good enough. We certainly did work day and night, every day and night, and none of this was appreciated.
    The union chap at that time eventually tipped me the wink that they were surprised I lasted as long as I did - and that the head who sees a school into special measures (although I was brand new head at the time and already we were making great strides despite adversity for the school) does not see a school out of special measures.
    Times may have changed since then, but the bureaucracy and inability of those in authority to be human, realistic and appreciative beggars belief.
    I NEVER agreed with their solutions for improvement.
    In another school where I worked initially as head of upper school, I disagreed with the solutions being forced onto the school that I requested to come off the senior management team to focus on teaching a lot of illiterate children. That was my priority.


     
  16. From my dealings with county they are as devious and corrupt as I could possibly have imagined. Deliberately keeping teachers lessons observations low and deflated so as to either force them out or show amzing levels of improvment after their so called 'support'
    I think the OP sounds a very naive person if they think theyll leave unscathed after 4 terms from a situation like that. Not in my experience
     
  17. WOW!! how negative is this?????

    I was in a school in SM and know that all staff developed to such an extent that all got loads of either good or outstanding LA or OFSTED lesson observations, all developed to be amazing teachers in a fabulous school, all were really up to date with the very best practices. The dead wood left and the rest became fantastic.

    If y ou have that opportunity, and are willing to work and learn, go for it !!!

    My experience of SM was entirely positive and I know I became a better .. even fantastic ..teacher for it!!!

    That is what it is all about!!!
     
  18. nick909

    nick909 Lead commenter

    This should sum everything up, really, despite all of the negativity posed above.
    Yes, we have good reasons to think professionally and think of ourselves and our own well-being and work-life balance...
    But...it's all about the children, really, isn't it? Or should be, at least. It's an awful thought to think that the children at this school could be written off because no-one wanted the hassle of working there.
    Good luck www, your attitude is commendable.
    If you come out on top, the experience will have been an incredible one, and, (professionally speaking!) your CV will be all the better for it.

     
  19. I think the last two posts are quite toe curlingly twee. Yes, the job is about the children, thats why I see loads of teachers stressed, knackered and completely run down because to maintain their ridiculously high standards they have to work 60 hours plus
    In short if this person is prepared to work 70 hours a week, produce 10 pieces of paper planning wise including a plan in case you breath, work with the underhand slime that are SIPS and county advisors and generally write their lives off for a few extra quid then, yes go for it, totally insane in my opinion and I have the experience to back up my views
    It takes years and years to go from special measures to 'good' by then the person would have aged 20 yrs
    We all end up in the same graveyard and are salaried so I cant see the point at all personally, unless you live to work in life
     
  20. I wouldn't do it - I do supply in a fair few schools that have hit SM recently - and going in on a supply basis you get to see contrasts over time probably clearer than you would do if you were in there day-in, day-out and what is utterly terrifying to watch is the toll it's taken on the staff involved... even the new fresher faced ones have had all the life sucked out of them completely.
    As for the "children" thing... at the end of the day - is it really worth it? I think there comes a cut off where you're obliged to put your own health and sanity (and if you've got a family - them) first... I've done it myself in the past - wrecked my health (and my future health) putting everyone first but myself - no one cared, no one appreciated it and I'm actually pretty sure the difference it made was minimal - there HAS to be that line where work stops and you begin - otherwise you burn out and that does no one at all any favours. No one ever lay on their deathbed wishing they'd spent more time at work.
    Being brutally honest - those who champion grinding yourself away to nothing for the sake of the children are teaching's worst enemy really. They're the ones who push away at a culture of presenteeism, try to outstay each other every evening (I generally got much more done working at a PC at home on an evening - but when you're in a school where people like to be seen to publicly crucify themselves - resisting that pressure's hard), and if that culture permeates the whole school... you end up with sickness rates through the ceiling, staff off all over the shop and the children lose out in the longer term when they've got a teacher hanging on to sanity by their fingernails and eventually going off sick. Far better to have a sensible perspective that sometimes enough work is enough... and to question paperwork as to its utility and benefit - I mean what are lesson plans FOR? Framing on the wall in admiration over the 27 different colours and typefaces used - or teaching from?
     

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