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Career dilemma

Discussion in 'Career clinic' started by catherineruthbuck, Feb 28, 2019.

  1. catherineruthbuck

    catherineruthbuck New commenter

    Hi all,
    I left education 2 years ago in order to support my newly blended family. I would never have left however, if schools were led differently. This may be a blessing in disguise because being a full time mum and homemaker has been rewarding in the extreme and just what my family needed. I had always planned to return to work at some point but am at a loss for what to do. When I left, my career had been very good and I had had great results, was extremely well supported by staff and had great performance management. The problem was that I was asked to be acting headteacher in my school while an IEB took over. The previous headteacher, it turns out, had been hiding a lot of sins that we were all unaware of - long story). The IEB were in place to make us an academy and were horrendous. They were supportive of me, gave me a significant pay rise etc but took over full directional control. However, I was not confident enough to stand against them when they pushed their point. 5 ex head teachers and advisers with the backing of the DFE, versus me - an acting head teacher age 38. They didn’t keep me in the loop over the academy take over and their leadership styles ruined the school. They had insane directives for us all and basically kept me a slave to paperwork and carrying out their biddings. They completely ruined staff moral and so it goes on. When an executive head was put in for the new academy, he put his own deputy in as headteacher and said he would offer me another school as head teacher that he was taking over in a few monrths time. He was awful too, chauvinist, narcissistic, arrogant and unfortunately didn’t know his stuff when it came to teaching and learning. I didn’t want to be ‘one of his girls’ running his schools for him. So I left at a time that was right for my family too. - as I said this was probably a blessing in disguise. Now however, 2 years on, I do not know whether I can go back to schools that are led by academies and outside presssures where a headteacher has effectively become a middle man. I want to guide the direction of my school, set my own ethos and vision. I am passionate about good teaching and learning and effective people management. My previous staff all tell my I must return to education but can it ever be what I want it to be. Am I better cutting my losses and finding a new path?
  2. Shedman

    Shedman Star commenter

    What you describe is all too common with the academisation and 'MATting' of schools. Before you go back into schools you've got absolutely nothing to lose by applying for managerial and executive jobs in related or unrelated fields to education. You've run a school for goodness sake and you know what you want done, you have vision. Business may snap you up as someone to head up a department or a division but if you just drift back to teaching you'll never know and you may miss out on a very satisfying and rewarding career. At least have a look, no one can force you to take a job you don't like.
  3. BYusuf

    BYusuf Occasional commenter TES Careers peer advisor

    Hi catherineruthbuck,

    Are you in two minds about being a head teacher per se or indecisive about being a head teacher for a school which is part of an academy trust?

    If you do decide to undertake the role of a head teacher again (whether or not it is a school which is part of an academy chain), I suggest noting key questions to ask as part of your research. For example:
    1. Why exactly the previous HT left
    2. Whether the school / academy chain / CEO are looking for a HT who is a leader or a manager
    3. How conflicts and disagreements are handled.

    My question to you is, what are you looking for? Do you want to have a complete change?

    If you are seeking a complete change, then you could remain within education in a number of ways such as a consultant HT, school improvement partner or HT coach / mentor. Or, as Shedman suggested, you could work within a completely different sector.

    It's worth considering all your options to determine what you could possibly do next.

    This will then help you to decide whether or not you are better off cutting your losses.


    agathamorse likes this.

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