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Dealing with SLT

Discussion in 'Heads of department' started by ysiddique, Jun 20, 2015.

  1. Do many of you have SLT teaching in your Faculties? I got myself in all sorts of trouble this week by asking the 2 SLT in Faculty (one a senior deputy head and one an assistant head) to work together developing a new scheme of work! They each had an individual meeting with me clearly stating that I don't direct them. They also told the Headteacher, she also called me into a meeting with her giving me a dressing down and indicating that I was getting "too big for my boots".

    Could anyone offer me any advice on how to deal with SLT in one's Faculty? What can I get them to do without having to ask their permission on whether I can ask them to do something or not??!!

    What are the major does and don'ts? Many thanks
  2. fineliner

    fineliner Occasional commenter

    I think this is out of order really. This is what I would do: work out the proportion of their jobs which are allocated to department work (by scaling up from their teaching allocations); put together a plan for cross department projects (such as devising new units of work); divide up the work proportionally to demonstrate the fairness; negotiate deadlines. Teachers with SLT responsibility may need much more flexible deadlines - the pressures from more urgent activities are obvious. However, if they merely refuse to contribute to department work then your department is being penalised by having senior staff in it as more of the collective work has to be redistributed to others. However, the attitude from these teachers and the headteacher is somewhat worrying. I think I would have an honest chat with them (and maybe also with your line manager) about how you can 'negotiate' their contribution to the department in future.
    karel and Thomiam like this.
  3. VeronicAmb

    VeronicAmb Occasional commenter

    They sound very awful. But sound advice fromfineliner
  4. install

    install Star commenter

    1 Accept their position but expect criticism behind your back
    2 Set up a calendar of monitoring
    3 Allow all books to be checked by whole dept
    4 Don't allow them to teach classes that they wont help with and use their experience
    5 Expect them to try and steer you - it may be a mix of good and bad
    6 Let your team know what has happened in a factual way -
    7 Check that all are following sow
    8 When you observe them - do it with another Hod for standardisation
    9 You possibly have members of your team that expect you to ignore their practice. Don't let their blocking stop you from directing them and make sure your 2ic directs them too
  5. melmmow

    melmmow New commenter

    Wow! I would be livid! I am a HOD with SLT members and find it INCREDIBLY difficult. One doesn't meet the deadlines in the department they set for the whole school. One doesn't keep in line with marking policies, one (DH) doesn't attend ANY meetings, one didn't complete any of the SOW asked of them!
    Every departmental meeting it's becoming increasingly embarrassing when all of them don't attend (with no word left prior to meeting). Other staff in the department are becoming increasingly hacked off, as ALL the departmental work, especially curriculum planning is left to the small number left in the department. They are often unaware of any changes that have been made (many recently), as they don't even check or respond to the emails I have sent out post meeting as a summary to keep them informed.
    Like the advice above, I discussed this with my line manager (obviously another SLT member), but I don't feel this is something they will feel comfortable approaching them about and as of yet... NO change.
    Really disappointing and feel your fury and frustration!
  6. LizzieDripping

    LizzieDripping New commenter

    Sounds about right. I had an ex subject leader, turned Ass. Head who was a nightmare. Wanted to teach 8/25 lessons a week, cherry picked. Criticised everyone and offended all. Best nailed through their own procedures I found :)
    mrtomo and install like this.
  7. Thomiam

    Thomiam New commenter

    You would expect SLT to lead by example! I recently attended a training session about how to deal with 'difficult conversations'. The lady that ran the session made it seem quite straight forward; have your evidence, stick to the facts and come up with a plan. This is easy enough when dealing with members of my faculty but none are SLT so I don't know how it would work with them. I have had a problem with a member of SLT before but I went through my line manager (another SLT member) rather than dealing with it directly. Perhaps you could try speaking to your line manager? Make sure the minutes are recorded so if it continues to be an issue you have a paper trail. Just because the staff member is SLT it shouldn't mean that they don't contribute to the department. I'm sorry you got a dressing down for this, it sounds like you were just trying to share the workload, and rightly so!
  8. englishteach101

    englishteach101 Occasional commenter

    Yes, but they rarely do. I've experienced SLT not doing what was asked of them, even though they expected it of the other staff, but also on the flip side, SLT that did everything they were expected to do and more. I suspect that there are more out there who sit in the former camp however....

    All of the previous advice sounds good to me, I'm sorry you've been treated like this as it shouldn't happen, can you come at the issues from another angle, or ask for their 'valuable and experienced input'- in my experience, they love having advice asked of them, a real ego boost!

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