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Coordination role

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by Lucilla90, Oct 21, 2017.

  1. Lucilla90

    Lucilla90 Occasional commenter

    I have commenced a job, which involves a TLR. My main subject area was mentioned in the advert and I thought the TLR would relate to that. I have no JD yet.
    Now, I have been asked to also lead an area in which I have no specialism ( nor interest beyond teaching it). I had even asked for support in it. When I raised this, I was told I had been asked because of the TLR and leading it would help me.
    I have led lots of PD over the years,in a few subjects, even speaking at coordinators’ meetings. However, the thought of leading in an area where I have no expertise (and being asked questions I cannot answer) - the thought of spending hours on something in which I really am not interested on top of my up to 60 hour week-feels like the last straw.
    Do I have any say in this, or is it just under the category of any reasonable direction from the HT? Do I just have to try to front it out and get on with it?
  2. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    I think it might depend on what level you need to lead.
    For me, A-Level English literature would be unworkable, but primary school English is fine.

    Leading on a subject you know little about can be excellent leadership development, especially if you are hoping for SLT later on. But make it clear you will need some support and advice some of the time.
    sally90 likes this.
  3. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    It's very common in Primary to be allocated a subject in which you have no interest.h

    I've never known anyone get out of doing it.
  4. Lucilla90

    Lucilla90 Occasional commenter

  5. Lucilla90

    Lucilla90 Occasional commenter

    Thanks for the replies, guess I will have to just get on with this.
  6. 576

    576 Established commenter

    So are you saying you got a job with a TLR attached but it wasn't made explicitly clear in the ad or at interview what the TLR was for?
  7. Lucilla90

    Lucilla90 Occasional commenter

    Yes, I thought the job advert and supporting information made it clear, which was why I applied for the job; it was my area of specialism. However, the area I am now also being asked to lead has only just been initiated and it is being stated I have to do it, due to having a tlr.
  8. Tinycat1234

    Tinycat1234 Established commenter

    Agree - if it’s a TLR in Primary they can whack loads on you whether you wanted it or not. I’d think v carefully before being too forward about not wanting to do it. Instead I would be very clear that it’s not your choice but will X Y and S if you are going to do it.
    grumpydogwoman likes this.
  9. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    If you're already needing to work those hours just to get things done, I'd think twice about taking on any TLR.
    Tinycat1234 likes this.
  10. mandv

    mandv New commenter

    I have worked in Primary Schools where the English Manger was a Maths specialist and the Maths Manager was an English specialist. They were told that their roles were not to specialism because their in-depth knowledge might 'put off' the rest of the staff, therefore not only patronising the subject managers but the entire staff!

    Having said that, I have never had the opportunity to manage my own specialism, but have thoroughly enjoyed managing the many subjects throughout my career, I must admit, I really enjoyed the challenge and met some inspirational people along the way. Also meant that I went on several courses too!!
  11. Lucilla90

    Lucilla90 Occasional commenter

    I guess the problem is, I had been looking for a while, seen other jobs advertised and actively avoided ones which meant coordinating this particular area.
    This, along with a number of other issues, puts me in the worst work situation ever. October 31st is looming and taunting me, but that’s another thread.:(
  12. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Why do you hate this area so much?

    There were things I was less good at than others but I didn't hate anything. It's hard to be in Primary if you can't throw yourself merrily into any old thing, I think.

    Crikey, I taught swimming. I couldn't swim!
    Pomz, sally90 and Sundaytrekker like this.
  13. Sally_90

    Sally_90 Occasional commenter

    Me too-I taught swimming for years and years before we got proper instructors in,and I swim like a brick!!:D

    Curriculum leadership in Primary is really a case of pitching in and filling the gaps.Occasionally our Head would offer up the opportunity for a 'reshuffle' if a couple of curriculum areas needed new leadership,but in general (as in the case of my successor!),it's a case of 'Who's available to take on x Subject?' whether they have any inclination towards that subject or not. In addition to this,smaller schools with fewer staff will often have to double up on areas.In our school,all TLR post holders had a curriculum responsibility.

    How much time you have to devote to that Leadership can depend very much on where it is in the whole scheme of things.Is it core or foundation? Is it currently in the SDP for focus now or in the near future?Is it a subject heavy in equipment turnover,eg Art/DT Science? The first thing to do is not to panic,but to look at the resources available, ascertain your budget,dig out the scheme of work across the school and ask the Head for some time to go round the classes to see how it's being done in each year group ( for a friendly 'look', NOT an observation).Talk to the staff about their needs then get on whatever courses you can:)Don't panic!:D
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2017
    grumpydogwoman likes this.
  14. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter


    Yep. That's EXACTLY how to do it.

    Off you go! ;):)
    sally90 likes this.
  15. mandv

    mandv New commenter

    Have you tried looking at this from a different angle maybe? Forgive me if I have got the wrong end of the stick, but from your original post it seems as if it is a curriculum subject that you are being asked to address, am I correct?

    Managing a subject isn't about having degrees and PHD's on the subject, its just making sure that we are all teaching the same things to the children and ensuring that they are getting a wealth of experiences. Its also sharing good practise and supporting each other. Its ordering stock and updating policies every year or two. Its checking that assessment is happening and being recorded and then is enjoying teaching it ince a week in your class, if yu have enough time of course.
    What is it about this 'subject' that has turned you off so dramatically? Why is this a subject that needs to be avoided at all costs? Is this a lack of knowledge and experience?

    You ,mention not being able to answer any questions abut the subject, but you are more than capable of finding out the answer given some time. And that the key, if you don't know the answer then say, that it isnt your specialism but you will find out, no one should judge you for that because they didnt know the answer either!! You are just managing the subject, you are not expected to be the World leading expert n the subject, honestly!!
    sally90 likes this.
  16. modgepodge

    modgepodge Established commenter

    Hmm. Whilst some schools do just throw people in to lead any old subject, I've only ever worked in ones where they at least attempted to match people with appropriate subjects. In the case of art or history, sure, no real knowledge is needed, as let's be honest in most schools people just get on with this and it's a case of ordering resources rather than dragging up standards in the subject and leading lots of CPD. I do think maths, English, science and probably computing need someone with a bit of specialist knowledge.

    Also, lets not forget, the OP actually moved schools and took on a TLR expecting to lead a particular subject - probably maths or English, if a TLR is involved. This could have been a move they were expecting to help them develop their career - and if they've now been dumped with the opposite subject, or PE or something, I can see why they're miffed. I've just moved to a new school to lead maths. If I was then told to lead English, I'd be annoyed and also feel out of my depth, and not able to do a good job. Sure, I could muddle along, but it's not the passion I moved schools for, it's not helping my career in the way I thought it would be, and it's going to cause me more work because I wouldn't know what I was doing.

    OP, I sympathise. I don't have any advice, but I completely understand why you're p***ed off. If jobs in your area are easy to come by, I'd be tempted to go and have a conversation after half term - not threatening to leave and holding the school to ransom as such, but just being honest that the job is not what you expected, so because of that you are considering leaving at Christmas. It might be enough to make them realise they want you to stay and change their plans. If not, you go. Obviously, only do this if you are absolutely certain you don't want to carry on with this job and this one thing is worth leaving over.
    Lucilla90 likes this.
  17. CarrieV

    CarrieV Lead commenter

    In my current school, we all sit round on the first INSET day of the year and go "Right, who fancies Maths this year?"
  18. Lucilla90

    Lucilla90 Occasional commenter

    Thanks for all the replies. I can’t go into too much detail as don’t want to be identified.

    I have done all the coordinator stuff (and even the dreaded swimming) over my many years, so I do know what it involves. I have just taken on a completely new role which is already challenging and this unexpected development pushes it beyond. I was thinking along the lines which Modge Podge has described.
    Thanks again.
  19. Wotton

    Wotton Lead commenter

    At least you are getting a TLR. Many schools don't have any. In my last school everyone led a subject or two even TAs had some responsibilities. The DHs had English and Maths.In my previous school no one had a TLR even those leading English and Maths.

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