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Becoming a Headmaster?

Discussion in 'Headteachers' started by Tracy Blue, Dec 17, 2011.

  1. I'm in North Wales, I don't know any heads with masters (or headmasters-we don't tend to differentiate between the sexes, we're all headteachers)
    However, when thinking about the question, most have come up through the ranks by being well-known to the LA. I mean by being outstanding class teachers who share practice throughout the authority. Foe example, if science is your thing, develop relationships with advisors, science advisors in other schools etc.
    Then they became deputies and again developed good networks so when they applied for headships the LA advisor on the governing panel knew the candidates well.
    But thats just my authority, in Wales.
    Good luck-it's the best job in the world most of the time.
  2. In primary there is really no need for a Masters. If you are male, then you will probably find little in your way to a headship.
    Learn your trade, look for a move up to KS leader or similar, then to Deputy for 3/4 years then a headship.
    Primary heads are in short supply now and the situation is unlikely to improve. Bear in mind when you coem into headship the vast majority of primary schools will probably in federations and / or academies.
  3. Thankyou very much for your replies.

    I know Im only starting out now, but becoming a headteacher is (as Ive said already) an ambition of mine. So I just wanted to make sure that I do the correct thing.

    So, if I learn my trade, work my way towards becoming a subject co-ordinator, for a good few years then start looking towards a move into headship, whether it be deputy first or headship roles, I should be on the right track.

    Thanks once again, and have a good Christmas!
  4. slugtrial

    slugtrial New commenter

    Now that the NPQH seems to be losing its 'compulsory for headship' tag, why not do a modular masters degree with some pedagogical modules and some leadership and management ones? This will then reflect your current status and your ambition.
    I agree with previous posts though... don't rush it. You'll be seen as a fast track nerd. Teachers can be brutal and spot any weakness before they've fired up the IWB.
  5. Yes, thanks.

    Don't worry, Im not planning to rush into anything. I mainly started the thread to ask if there were any studious courses, or qualifications that I may need to be considered for a headship role. Originally, I would rather have continued my studies straight after finishing my current degree. Although now, I understand that it would be a better option to get some experience under my belt first.

    Please understand that I know this may sound optimistic. But, if I teach for a few years, learn my trade a little, then move onto trying to become the Science Co-ordinator (again for a couple of years), and then apply for Deputy Roles, would I be doing everything right?

    My aim of this thread is to ensure that once I do finally get a job, I do everything right to reach my goal of headship eventually. I understand that it will take work, and will not come straight away, I just want to make sure that Im on the right path.

  6. I don't think you can plan that precisely for the rest of your career. There are a lot of conditionals -
    • is your teaching going to be good enough to get promotion (it'll have to be consistently good or outstanding) to any leadership post
    • the schools you go to will also make a difference - in some schools there are few opportunities to develop as a leader, if you are at a school in difficulty you may end up being there much longer than planned etc
    • if you are too focused on the ultimate goal she will be missing opportunities to nurture the pupils you have, develop relationships with your colleagues and learn from your peers.
    I say all this from experience. I did not go into teaching to become a headteacher, but got my first headship at 35 after being inspired by some inspirational headteachers. On the way I became an outstanding classroom teacher, made some great friends (a support network is so important) and loved every minute of being a teacher. All this has helped me in headship - I still teach occasionally and enjoy every opportunity to be with the children.
    I also employed a teacher who sounds pretty much like you - very driven by his career. He has never been in one school for longer than 2 years as he is always looking for the next promotion. He is dismissive of colleagues and fails to see the bigger picture - this means that he is not as good at his job as he could be. He lets people down and I pity the school he will one day lead (and he will be a headteacher) because he lacks the skills necessary to do the job properly - not because of lack of ability, but because he hasn't experienced it.
  7. Okay thankyou for your reply. Its been a very interesting
    read. As you can probably tell, I don’t want to overly rush things (as it
    sounds like your colleague may be doing), but I do have it in my mind that in
    the future, I would like a headship role. The purpose of this thread, really,
    was to try to find out if there were any further qualifications that I would
    need to complete, as initially I would have completed them following my
    graduation, so that I was still in the ‘swing’ of studying. Although with
    hindsight, it appears that it would be best to do any studying after

    Once I secure a teaching job, I do want to take my time, and
    make sure that I know the workings of the school, I’m a confident teacher, and
    want to feel that I know how to interact successfully with other colleagues and
    children / parents. Also, I have enhanced my studying with Science, so when I
    graduate, I will also qualified to become the Science co-ordinator in a school
    (Ive been in a good number of schools so far, and only a small number had
    Science co-ordinators, so I wish to help as much as I can with this subject).
    Once I am fully confident with my teaching and have taught in each of the key
    stages, understand how the school works and shown signs of leadership (been the
    subject co-ordinator, got involved in the schools policies and ran events for instance),
    which should take at least five years (to get my experience alone - I don't want to rush anything, or expect to walk in and become a headteacher!), then I will
    start applying for Deputy Headteacher roles in a small school.

    Please understand that I do not want to rush anything. I want
    to ensure that I do everything right before taking on any further
    responsibility. I do want to ensure that I concentrate solely as a teacher
    while teaching, and when I feel ready I would like to progress my career. The
    purpose of this thread was mainly to ensure that I get as much information as
    possible about relevant qualifications that may be needed.

    Thanks once again. If there is anything that I have said that sounds wrong, please correct me, as ever, I'm here to learn!

  8. What no body seems to talk about is the need to learn skills that are not experienced in the classroom: people management(big grown up professional people), HR detail, budgeting, recruitment, meeting skills, stretigic planning, branding, PR, M+E, the list goes on....
    There is no place for these to be learned, NPQH did not and very few good heads have the time to pass these skills on to their employees. So perhaps getting out into industry and learning from those who have more time might be a good idea.

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