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Before I allow myself to be pushed... how big a jump is it really?

Discussion in 'Heads of department' started by loonymoon, Feb 3, 2012.

  1. My current HoD has been encouraging me for the past year to apply for a HoD post of my own, or at least a second in department. I'm working at a small school where there is no "room" for a second in Maths and have taken on several responsibilities such as writing schemes of work and mentoring our PGCE students. Part of me feels that I'm still too young for a HoD role - I'm 26 - and part of me feels that it's too big a jump. Any advice from current HoDs would be very much appreciated! [​IMG]
  2. FollyFairy

    FollyFairy Occasional commenter

    Do you think your current HOD is genuinely trying to support you further your career or is s/he jealous of your success/relationship with kids etc? I would say that at 26, that is not too young to be Second or even HOD (one HOD in my current school is 27!) however, if you are not ready, then maybe stay where you are for a few years... however, if you think you are ready, but just lack confidence, there are lots of new HOD courses you can go on!
  3. noemie

    noemie Occasional commenter

    I can't believe anyone would think that jealousy was the motive for encouraging someone to move up the ladder! That is such a ridiculous thing to say! If you have been writing schemes of work and supervising aspects of the curriculum, then you already have some of the skills needed to be a HOD. Your line manager realises that you have outgrown the size of the pond and is encouraging you towards a bigger ocean. Weigh things up carefully and decide if it's the right thing for you, and more specifically, if the school you are going to is the right one for you - don't be tempted just because you have put time in the process and are flattered they are offering you the place. The size of the jump depend entirely on the school: it could be a really easy gig with lovely colleagues and kids, or a tough one where management is impossibly demanding, colleagues are bitter and kids don't care. So take your time to research the potential schools carefully.
    It is the role of any good manager to try and develop the skills of his/her team and get them to be better than him/herself.
    PS: I'm 30 and been a HOD for nearly 3 years. Small department and lovely school, so just the right size and challenge for me. One of my colleagues became Head of Y9 in her second year of teaching, in a 1500 pupils school. She was 22 years old, and a bloody brilliant HOY too!
  4. henriette

    henriette New commenter

    If I could roll back the clock I would not have accepted the HoD role that was pushed onto me: the extra work, stress and responsibility is not worth the paltry additional pay in my opinion.
  5. mousey80

    mousey80 Occasional commenter

    At least download the information for any jobs that come up and read the person specification to see if you match them. Apply for a 2nd if you are not confident enough to go for the top job.
  6. leadlearner

    leadlearner New commenter

    GIven that they are keen to get you promoted ask if you can go on some HoD training- a day away from the classroom with people doing the job already will give you helpful pointers and head space to reflect. You can also ask them about the reality. It is naive of one poster to presume that hod always have people's best interests at heart - they should but they could feel threatened. It is a possibility. Do some reading around leadership books and websites. Bear in mind if you apply for second you may still have to step up and run a department if the Hod gets ill. Being a Hod is a interesting job but only you can decide if you are ready! All best.
  7. Hi;

    I have been a second in department for a year and I'm 26. It has been hard work (the department is big) but I feel that it has been worth it. I feel personally its better to go for second and then HOD as you will learn a great deal from being second.

    Good luck!
  8. If you think writing schemes of work and mentoring students are HOD responsibilities then this may be a huge jump! Having said this, if you are keen for the challenge then ask your current HOD for experience managing data, implementing intervention strategies, monitoring/doing quality assurance of teaching standards and supporting colleagues.
  9. If you have a lot of encouragement from the people you are currently working with, if you have some ideas you would love to implement and you feel you /could/ produce detailed schemes of work and take on the random number of unexpected jobs Head of Subject seems to incorporate... go for it. It's not a question of age - it's whether you have the drive,ambition and vision to lead your department where it needs to go. I am a Head of History - it's more important that you figure out how to develop your strengths and shore up your weaknesses than whether you're old enough for the job.

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