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disagreement between head teacher and deputy head !

Discussion in 'Headteachers' started by spectra75, Oct 4, 2015.

  1. spectra75

    spectra75 New commenter

    Please could someone advise on procedure to resolve a disagreement between a head teacher and deputy head.
    This is for an interview question
    Thank you in advance. :)
  2. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Professional integrity.

    That's it in a nutshell. Or were you thinking of how either could appeal to the CoG to settle it? Worst possible procedure!

    I am intrigued by this.

    1) Are you going to be asking the question as part of an interview panel, and wish to know what the answer should be?


    2) Are you getting together and learning off by heart the "perfect answers" to possible questions for an interview for a post that you are applying for?

    If 2), then please don't!

  3. spectra75

    spectra75 New commenter

    no no Theo! I'm not looking for perfect answers..I've prepared my own answers for all questions but I honestly don't know what the answer to this would be except getting governors involved.
    sorry I wasn't looking for ready made answers just thought would ask here for some leads .
  4. School Boy Error

    School Boy Error Occasional commenter

    You can have professional disagreements and debates of course. However, I would never dream of involving governors - bottom line, discuss and debate all you want but the Head has the final say and sometimes you need to just go with it ;)
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  5. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Well done on getting that interview!

    Instead of preparing an answer and then reciting it (never comes out well!) it's best to draw up mindmaps with the main ideas. Then what you say is based on the visual image of the mindmap, but can be expressed in your own spontaneous words.

    And do make sure that CP and Safeguarding you have on the tip of the tongue!

    Good luck
    monicabilongame likes this.
  6. keepthespirit

    keepthespirit New commenter

    I wonder if this is designed to catch some applicants out. As has been posted the headteacher has ultimate responsibility and does make the final decision.
    The deputy can/should provide additional perspective for consideration. However, if a deputy is prepared to go further to promote a different opinion to the head then I would question the deputy's commitment to Senior Leadership.
    A school shouldn't really need procedures for this. Educated people should be able to communicate in a civilised and respectful manner.
    Good wishes.
  7. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    I've added my own bold. This is the bottom line.

    First can I say I am not a Head or DH, but opinions are based on colleagues who have been in those positions.

    Your position means you can be a sounding board for the Head and provide alternative scenarios if asked, however the bottom line is that you are there to uphold and support the Head in whatever decisions they make.

    Hopefully the experience will help you in the future, should you then be placed in the 'Head' position. Part of being a DH is learning that often things aren't quite as 'clear-cut' as others (parents or staff) believe they are.
  8. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Within SLT, there may be discussion and even disagreement.

    But once a decision has been made, you all support it 100% and never show to the outside world that you didn't agree within the confines of the SLT meeting.

    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  9. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    As indeed any staff should do generally, with any decisions made by senior management.
    'United front' is always needed against parents/students.;)
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2015
  10. DaisysLot

    DaisysLot Senior commenter

    I'm a little curious…

    If the question specifically asks you to consider how you would handle a disagreement between the head and the deputy head, then I assume that the role being interviewed for is neither of those posts…. lending to it being an assistant head ship or head of faculty perhaps.

    My honest answer would be that I am always happy to let adults be adults and managers manage themselves.
  11. Skeoch

    Skeoch Star commenter

    DH's side of the bargain: disagree as much as you need to in private. "Speak truth to power." Do this for the pupils, not for yourself. In public and in your actions, cabinet responsibility rules absolutely: you must support the HT totally.
    HT's side: encourage your DH and other advisers to provide critiques of your ideas, your policies, your approaches; listen to them and evaluate what they say. Do this for the pupils, not for yourself. Explain to the DH et al why you make the decision, then go for it. You have the final decision: that's why you are HT. Cabinet responsibility rules, but avoid putting the DH in a difficult situation.
    keepthespirit likes this.
  12. spectra75

    spectra75 New commenter

    Hi just an update . I didn't get the job. The feedback was I answered all the questions very well but there was someone with more experience .

    What can I say ..
  13. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Disappointing always, @spectra75 .

    But once you've eaten enough chocolate, the world will seem a brighter place!

    You weren't the person for them (and you didn't make a fool of yourself by the sounds of it), and they weren't the school for them.

    But next time may be it . . .

    Have you seen this, by the way:

    Theo's amazing research

    Best wishes
  14. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    If it was for interview prep, how did the OP know it was going to be asked?
    Schoolcoachguru likes this.

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