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'Candy' this is why we have no chance of moving from AST to SMT...

Discussion in 'Senior Leadership Team' started by Middlemarch, Apr 23, 2008.

  1. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    You'd need to examine the figures for those applying, though, surely? Wasn't the whole purpose behind AST status to recognise those excellent teachers who didn't want to move into management to get more pay?

    I know that some do, but if the right people were appointed as ASTs, we should see very few going for AHT and DHT.
  2. WD - i totally agree with you - In fact I have recently been thiniking of giving up the AST role and going for a TLR post then applying for DH or AH. This will mean going backwards in my career & pay. . . !!

    Middle you are right AST and ET post were created for teachers who did not want mang route and got paid for staying in the classroom. However, i feel as an AST i have got as far as I want to go in that direction of my career and now i feel very reday to move in mang\leadership posts. Just becase we applied and have successfully worked as ASTs it doesnt mean tht we want to be ASTs for the rest of our careers. I have at least another 25 yrs left of my career (if i even plan to stay in teaching that long !!) and I do not want to be as AST for that long. It something I have tried and done for almost 6 years and its been fabulous but now WD and I both want to progress further in our careers and it seems we both made a huge mistake in directing our careers in the AST path; as we are unable to get off them!

    Also AST funding only secure til 2011 (am i right WD?) and with the introduction of ETs; the role of AST WILL disappear as ETs are much cheaper to retain. (some LAs dont even have ASTs)

    Im at the point now that I feel i certainly made the wrong career choice. If anything I would have thought that ASTs would be snapped up into leadership roles considering the range and depth of work we do (including all the work for our LAs and other schools) and the amount of depth we can bring to a DH or AH post. But I also think this is probably one major aspect of being as ASt that puts some SLT off from employing us!!!! who knows!!! Are we just too good?????!!!!!!
  3. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    I understand entirely; I've posted on the other thread that I inherited 2 excellent, very experienced ASTs when I took my 2nd headship, and both are now AHTs (one that I promoted into my leadership team). Mind you, one had been a very experienced 2nd in a major dept, the other had long experience of being head of dept, before they became ASTs.

    My point, though, was that (in theory) many of the ASTs will be content to stay as such (if we believe that they really did want to stay in the classroom in the first place) and so the figures for promotions into SMT ought not to be very high.

    I believe that the problem may be twofold. One, that many heads don't see that AST experience is relevant to an AHT post (and if the criteria specify direct line management of a dept, for example, it will cut an AST out). The second reason why some ASTs may not be getting interviews for these posts may lie in their applications not effectively showing these heads exactly why an AST can be well-suited to an AHT post.
  4. WD

    WD New commenter

    Hi middlemarch

    I've been an AST for seven years-and the role was not set up to be occupied forever! Also I have done a ton of non subject specific strategic stuff, plus combined the AST role with being Head of Year, and then Head of Faculty. Also the new AST job description requires an AST to take on a whole school strategic role-i.e. management!! So it is not as if I have only done teaching. But I just cannot get a SMT position, and am not even having references called for SMT roles I am largely doing as an AST anyway(my letters of application have been vetted by strangers and are good, and my refernces are excellent).

    Candy is in the same position, and one AST stymied may be accidental, but two would suggest something else is going on. I hate to think how many failed applications for SMT we have between us.
  5. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    Well, in that case I'm as baffled as you are!

    As I've said elsewhere, I do know of an AST who became a head within 6 years (he's only in his early 30s as well). He went from classroom teacher to AST, then AHT, DHT and head incredibly quickly.

    Have you ever asked the heads you're applying to for feedback? I say that with caution, knowing you might be told a pile of old tosh, but it's worth a shot, perhaps?
  6. WD

    WD New commenter

    Yes I do every time I fail now. A few have responded, but the advices are contradictory! One said don't do 'X' and 'Y' another said do 'X' and 'Y'. Lol (albeit in a slightly bitter and baffled manner!).
  7. trinity0097

    trinity0097 New commenter

    Also more people hold TLRs than AST status I would imagine to start with.
  8. WD

    WD New commenter

    But many TLR posts don't have the same weight of responsibility, management skills, or whole school startegic range, that an AST has.

    I get the feeling that some SMT

    1. Don't like AST'S, and sometimes go so far as to be intimidated by their expertise.
    2. Because SMT have 'done the time' via a traditional route, are unwilling to countenance employing an AST who has not echoed their own promotional route.
    3. Don't understand how well AST role prepares you for senior managemnt.

    Admittedly some AST's have done the role no favours by being arrogant and incompetent in equal measures, but I firmly believe that there is a stigma attached to the AST post that effectively makes it a dead end as a career move.

  9. WD and Candy, will you be attending the AST conference at the National Science learning centre in York this Thursday and Friday?
    I will be raising this issue in one of the workshops during this conference and getting further views on the 'next steps' from the AST role.
    I am also an AST and understand your concerns. Short-sightedness on the behalf of some leadership teams in some schools - hopefully not all.
  10. WD

    WD New commenter

    Hi drana

    Wont be there, unfortunately, but feel free to quote my posts! Here are just some of the things I have done, that don't, apparently, qualify me to get an Asst Head interview/post

    1. Led whole school ITT programme
    2. Led whole school NQT programme
    3. LEA course tutor for NQT induction
    4. Reviewed whole school post 16 teaching, made recommendations to relevant Heads of Department, and followed through areview of changes implemented.
    5. Mentored a Head of science, Head of Music, and Head of ICT sucessfully out of competency procedures.
    6. Been attached to the SMT of a school in Special Measures,and helped them strategically to get out of that situation.
    7. Supported a P.E. department through an Ofsted inspection
    8. Wrote and implemented whole school accelerated learning programme.
    9. Delivered a range of whole school INSET
    10. Use data to identify under achievng pupls, and then write an drun workshops to support them.
    11. Acted as Head of Year for a term to cover for staff illness, on top of my AST work. Ditto Head of Faculty, but this for two terms.
    12.Rewrote pupil diary into a Learning Journal to support personalisation of learning.
    13. Supported two separate ICT departments, a Humanities Faculty,Music department and a Science department which all had identified weaknesses.
    14. Supported new staff in a Maths department.
    15. Mentored a number of overseas staff as they gained QTS.
    16 Wrote and implemented a middle managers mentoring programme
    17 developed Student Voice via 'Big Brother Diary Room' and other strategies
    18 developed Humanities link to local Primary school
    19 Wrote and implemented aspects of transition programmes for years 9-10, and 8-9.

    etc etc etc etc

    And I'm a History AST btw!
  11. Cheers WD. You have been busy!

    I will raise this with the ASTs during the conference.

    Maybe if you could post your personal email address I could then feedback personally.

  12. WD

    WD New commenter

    Lol busy? I hadn't mentioned the cover assistant training/development programme I wrote and implemented, the new staff Induction programme, staff peer log and protocols, VAK audit, two books I have written and had published in the last 4 years, and the NQT advice column I wrote in a now defunct teacher's newsletter!...and there is other stuff too...

  13. "knowing you might be told a pile of old tosh" you hit the nail on the head Middle!!!!! yes i'm sick of being told "oh yeas you have all the experience blah blah it was just that bit extra or we felt this person would suit the role better...." in my last interview - I was so fed up of the non- constructive feedback that i didnt even bother asking for any!

    Like WD said the new AST role desp includes "whole school stragetic....." which is as we all know mang and leadership! Long before this statement was added to the AST role we were in fact already doing this. So as far as not having the experience of whole school leadership ASTs probably have more experience of doing this than the traditional routers of TLR then DH/AH/HT.

    There are currently 7 TLR postholders; 3 AH & DH & HT in my school; I have been there 6 years and beleive me I have done more whole school training than all of them put together! Infact I'm currently supporting a TLR postholder to do whole school training for the NNS!

    As i said before I am now seriously thinking of going back to a TLR post then moving upwards maybe even omitting the fact Im as AST on my application form! i really do believe that many school just see ASTs as overpaid teachers who get a lot of time out of teaching - little realising we do not work within the 1265 hours (am i right WD?) and all the other leadership elements that are actaully ahuge part of a ASts job!

    Drana Unfortunately i will not be there either but as WD said feel free to quote anything! Do let us know how the conf. went. Like WD's list Im also doing most of that but, im primary, I also work in a very large primary school (580 on roll) which I would have thought would be an great asset to any school Ive applied in (all schools ive applied for par one have been smaller than mine!!)

    WD hope all is well !!
  14. out of interest - how many interviews do DH\AH go through before being appointed?
  15. WD

    WD New commenter

    Hi Candy-got two Head of History applications in-will keep you posted as to success or otherwise.
  16. WD

    Head of History - for pete's sake you should be applying for DH or AH not head of dept !! you have more experience (and talent) that many people in those jobs already!

    good luck anyhow - let me know how things go!

  17. PS WD have you done NPQH?

    (I have not that its got me anywhere!!!!!!!!!))
  18. WD

    WD New commenter

    No-my Head said I should, but having talked to two friends of mine on SMTs who had done it through gritted teeth (fiesty characters both-you now the talented colourful type rather than grey suit), and met people who had done it, I just couldn't face the kind of people I would have met on the course.
  19. I know what you mean! i must admit i DID NOT enjoy it at all. I thought it would be good to do and the two current DH at mine school had done it and raved about it.... ( i shoud have know better than to listen!) now i am trying to think of three things i didnt know before doing the npqh that i know now... (without sounding big headed!!!!!!!!) like i said, completed it 18 months ago and it hasnt helped me get a job!!! and i don't think it will either, in fact I think it might even be a negative factor on my application form !!!
  20. Candy would it be possible to have your email address so that i can respond to yourself and WD off the forum. Hopefully you won't mind me asking this of you but we seem to be the only 3 interested in this thread anyway, making any contributions.


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