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Dedicated Headship Time

Discussion in 'Headteachers' started by titus4t, May 20, 2015.

  1. titus4t

    titus4t New commenter

    Please may I ask if this is only for HTs with teaching responsibilities or are all heads entitled to it? I believed it was the former, but perhaps is it up to the discretion of the governors?
  2. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    If you are on STPCD conditions the entitlement for all heads is "A headteacher is entitled to a reasonable amount of time during school sessions, having regard to their teaching responsibilities, for the purpose of discharging their leadership and management responsibilities". I don't understand your question though, if a head has no teaching responsibilities presumably ALL their time is "dedicated headship time"?

    It's the governors responsibility to ensure the head receives their entitlement to headship time under STPCD. It's not discretionary whether to give it all although of course how much time is a "reasonable amount" would be a matter of opinion and depnd on the specific circumstances of the school
  3. School Boy Error

    School Boy Error Occasional commenter

  4. As a Primary Headteacher, I used to be allocated an amount of "Dedicated Headteacher Time" even though I did not have a teaching commitment. I was allowed to take this time off site and it was an opportunity to have some uninterrupted time to do things like develop the new SDP or other strategic planning, prepare for an important meeting or training session etc

    I do not get this in my current role and you can guarantee that as soon as I get myself settled down to begin/continue a task, the phone rings or I am called to a classroom or the playground because of an issue.

    STPCD reference ensures that this time is given outside any teaching commitment a head has.

    No, a lot of it is dealing with operational matters. Secondary colleagues may be amazed at the number of times I have mopped flooded toilets, caught stray dogs and set up meeting rooms. (Caretaker only works mornings and after school) Not to mention the queue of parents at the start or end of the day asking to see me urgently.

    For reference I used to get one afternoon per fortnight.
  5. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    I only said "dedicated headship time" because that was what OP titled their post. STPCD makes clear the entitlement is for heads' 'leadership and management responsibilities", which includes operational matters. A head's legal responsibilities include everything to do with the organisation, management and control of the school including all the examples you give. I'm not advocating the head personally does all those things, but responsibility ultimately rests with the head to ensure that someone deals with them. That's what management is.

    Excellent idea, although if OP meant was there a separate legal entitlement for this specific aspect of leadership and management, then no. Only for leadership and management overall.

    I'm puzzled though by you referring to being "allocated" this and "allowed" that. 'Allocated' and 'allowed' by who? Heads' time isn't directed by anyone, head's are self-directing in how they use their time. Neither governors nor anyone else can tell you how much of your time you should spend onstrategic stuff and how much on rounding up stray dogs or whatever.

  6. Absolutely, I managed my own time on a day to day basis and would optimistically retire to my office at certain times during the week but, once per fortnight, I knew I could work from home with a clear conscience and would plan that time carefully to achieve tasks which required uninterrupted focus. This was agreed by my Governing Body.

    Currently I do not have that luxury due to the circumstances of the school and I know through experience, that the moment I take that first bite of my sandwich or open the SDP to enter some evaluation, the phone will ring! Good for the waistline though!
  7. titus4t

    titus4t New commenter

    To put my query in context, our head has asked for an afternoon a week at home as 'Dedicated Headship Time, ' claiming that it is an entitlement. (We are a small rural primary; there is no teaching commitment attached to the headship). To cover this, it is being suggested that the DH should come out of class but then there would need to be cover for that class. I was just wondering if this was a common arrangement or not.
  8. Does the DH have a full teaching commitment? If not, then maybe the times could be synchronised. But that may compromise the DH's L&M time.

    This must be tricky to manage in a small school.
  9. cornflake

    cornflake Senior commenter

    I try and block out a half day a week, but this often gets swallowed up - occasionally try a day a fortnight model instead ....

    I'm always available by phone if needs be, but does allow me to think something through without interruption ...

    Primary HT

    210 school
  10. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    Are you a governor? Or one of the staff.

    FWIW, I imagine that in a small rual primary the HT is finding it difficult to set aside the time to concentrate without interruption, in which case the request (who to, I wonder) is appropriate.
  11. fab208

    fab208 New commenter

    I ask the CoG and will take the odd afternoon or whole day working at home. It might be for budget analysis, writing reports that require a real focus, working on SDP, writing up monitoring and evaluation tasks, writing up appraisal paperwork, planning governor training, writing policies etc. I am sure teachers must look at headteachers and wonder what the heck they are doing with their time, but it is unbelievable how hard it can sometimes be to just get a few quiet hours to concentrate. I get lots done away from school and can just get my head down, knowing my deputy is very capably in charge and that I will only be interrupted in an emergency. I can see why the head at the OP's school has asked for this time. I suppose the proof of the pudding will be in the work that gets done, but it is sometimes not evident to others what that work is. It can take hours just to complete what might seem like straightforward tasks, and this is more difficult when you might have to lead assembly, meet with a distraught parent whose marriage has ended, deal with a behaviour issue, talk to the police about traffic and inconsiderate parking, answer a phone call about an admissions issue, cover for a member of staff who is taken ill, sort out the leaking drainpipes in the middle of a thunderstorm, deal with the consequences of a tree falling down in the aforementioned thunderstorm, chat to a visitor who comes in to hear readers and write up SEN review paperwork, all of which is a typical day in the life of a headteacher.
  12. titus4t

    titus4t New commenter

    Staff or governor? Both! And tasked with finding out what goes on in other schools. Thank you so much for all your replies. It has really helped.
  13. keepthespirit

    keepthespirit New commenter

    I appreciate that demands have increased. However, does the headship of a small rural primary school require no teaching commitment ?

    I repeat, I know demands have increased. However, we had two successful and positive Ofsted inspections. My non contact time was one day per week. This was in a small rural primary school N.O.R. 100. Perhaps sight has been lost that school is about children learning. It appears to be too much about providing evidence and monitoring to excessive levels.

    How can you manage to afford a D.H ?

    Apologies if this sounds negative. It is not meant to, but I do worry about leadership not being actively involved in teaching.
  14. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    It would have helped, Titus4t, if you had set out your stall when posting. That way you would have received a clear and considered response.
  15. titus4t

    titus4t New commenter

    Really? Would that change what people have said? Do you not think the responses are clear and considered? I did not mean to obfuscate in anyway. I was just looking for information. I apologise if you think otherwise.
  16. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    I am sure the information would be the same but the advice may have been more focused.

    That said, it is not at all unusual for head teachers of smaller schools to work off site when they need to work undisturbed on some project or other. Some work from home. I know of two HTs (one infant the other junior) who switch office in their neighbouring schools. I just used to hang a sign on my door saying"Gone fishing" and refuse to answer a knock unless the fire alarm was sounding.

    However, covering for the HT who is off site is valuable dedicated deputy headship time!
  17. I assumed that you were the Head asking for advice. Not that my reply would have been different but I think it would have been a courtesy to let us know that you were on a fact finding mission on behalf of the GB.

    I wonder why they cannot just make a judgement based on the workload of the Headteacher and the context. I don't get any here as we are in a category with no SLT. If I work from home, something always kicks off. Very different to your context I imagine.
  18. welshwales

    welshwales Occasional commenter

    I just read a typical day for me in one of the above posts...;)
  19. fab208

    fab208 New commenter

    Ha Ha! Welshwales, I did actually describe my day in the above post. Today I could have added helping to scrub graffiti off the playground and fixing a light fitting that had fallen down in the men's loo!
  20. keepthespirit

    keepthespirit New commenter

    Is it good use of money to pay a head teacher's salary for someone to scrub graffiti off the playground ? or are general handymen in your area on exceptional wages ?

    How often do marriages end in your catchment area ? How often are staff taken ill ?

    Head teachers' time should be spent doing what they are paid to do.

    I'm sorry but I do not agree with head teachers doing mundane tasks, such as floor scrubbing, instead of teaching, which is what they should be good at.

    It seems basic good management to me to get jobs done, at least cost, by the most appropriate person. Mopping floors has never been in a job spec for headship in my experience.

    In addition it is by doing the job that the workload is properly understood. I remember coming up with planning and record keeping formats and after a few weeks realising the work expectation was unrealistic. So we devised something manageable. it is easy when you are not teaching to place excessive demands on teachers.

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