1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded education professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

Empty office, empty files, empty everything!!!

Discussion in 'Headteachers' started by bellybells, Sep 4, 2012.

  1. Help needed please- have taken up post as a new head. Already experienced a 'tricky' transition into post as the head was quite awkward in their availability. Have now finally got into school to find absolutely nothing left in terms of policy documents, SDP, performance management reviews, lessons observations etc. The computer files have been 'cleaned', the website near eradicated! This is not a failing school, all of these things were in place- but the outgoing head has seen fit to take everything away. What next.. any suggestions?!
  2. I experienced something similar myself many years ago. It might not be a bad thing? Why not make a new start with your new team.
  3. Speak with chair of govs immeidately. Technically it is intellectual property and you may find if they contact the ex-HT directly better results are achieved....maybe. Have they moved schools or retired?
  4. Surely there was more than 1 copy of these items held in the school?
    This sounds very far fetched.
  5. Maybe the last head had a good reason to want to hide what they'd done or not had time to do too well. They may also have wanted to wipe any confidential info on their computer or might have been embarrassed by IT skills. I think it can be an anxiety inducing situation giving up your school. I know of heads who manage to lead well but are not great on the paper work or IT. I'd be inclined to leave the last head alone. Do some damage limitation eg start perf m afresh by setting targets with teachers together and ask your old school to send you a few policies. It's not so bad. Just paperwork. If its a good school you are lucky as it has obviously been run well. Someone else's paperwork won't help you much anyway.
  6. anon2799

    anon2799 New commenter

    It happens. When I took over my current school there was no documentation or paperwork in the office. Some had been destroyed - much never existed. Let the la know and your chair of governors. Ask to have it minuted confidentially at governors so that there's evidence. You'll have to start from scratch I'm afraid. You'll get there though.
  7. I have the opposite problem... I would love to have a fresh start ....now where can I get an industrial sized shredder?
  8. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    I found myself in a similar situation several years ago. The outgoing imcumbent has reformatted the computer and emptied just about every filing cabinet in the office. In some ways it was a joy to be able to start from scratch, but I did worry about an impending OfSTED.
    You should make sure that your concerns are formally recorded at the first governors' meeting.
    If I can help in any way with policies etc as starters, let me know.
    You have a PM, btw.
  9. missbloggs

    missbloggs New commenter

    I had the same things happen to me, although there were some policies left - which hadn't been reviewed for up to 12 years in some cases! The previous HT had chosen to teach 0.8fte, and used that as an excuse for not doing paperwork. It was even in their PM, which oddly was left when none of the teachers' was, that they couldn't really be set targets as they were "too busy teaching" and when they were set they were tasks which were then delegated to other staff!! So nothing would surprise me, and in fact makes me very wary about moving schools despite being absolutely desperate to change jobs. I also know of another new HT in my LA who took over a totally stripped school, so it isn't that unusual. Take heart - at least you won't have loads of ancient stuff to plough through and update, it will all brand new and spot on. Good luck!
  10. The same happened to me. Most you can do without. The main problem is performance management / staff files - I had no evidence of quality of teaching and had to effectively start from scratch which was tricky with inadequate teaching
  11. Tisnearlyfridaymethinks

    Tisnearlyfridaymethinks New commenter

    I have just experienced the same thing- 12 teaching days into the new term, due ofsted - no performance management, policies, lesson obs, no sdp, sef since 2008....and up till midnight creating files in a hurry to avoid a category. There are no words to describe the pit you feel in your stomach when you realise that the cupboards are well and truly bare.
    Remind me why we do this......[​IMG]
  12. anon2799

    anon2799 New commenter

    Because someone needs to. It gets better, I have been there and uncovered some pretty awful things. You can do it though and the buzz when you do is amazing.
  13. Tisnearlyfridaymethinks

    Tisnearlyfridaymethinks New commenter

    I am thinking it really can't get much worse![​IMG]
  14. mychuck

    mychuck New commenter

    Don't be so sure. Look at this positively - you can do things in your own way and not in the same old way of others.
    It happened to me and we had OFSTED in my first year. We were classed as satisfactory (it would be needs to improve today) and although the school had previously been rated excellent and it came as a mighty shock to the parents, it did lead the way for jusitifable radical change at the school.
    Talk to other supportive heads - there are many out there, and ask to crib some of their existing policies etc. Prioritise. Think about what impacts most on the children and have an action plan which you can amend as you go along and will show OFSTED etc that you do have a strategic way forward. You cannot do everything at once and neither do you want to.
    I've been a head a fair time now and there is always something that is there to challenge you. If there wasn't, then half of us wouldn't do the job.
    Get your head up and start to think about what is most important. Good Luck!

Share This Page