This is such a tragic story and I really am desperate. I was an AST and Year 6 teacher until my LEA stopped the funding. Then I tried for Deputy Head at my own school, but when I didn't get it, I realised it was time to move on. This was after 12 years, I might add. After much effort (we're a small authority), I moved to the LEA next door and got a deputy headship at an inner city school with a headteacher who was turning the place around (the deputy had been there for over 20 years, and was ofrced to leave for personal reasons). Little did I know what I was getting into. It was clear within two weeks that the head disliked me personally and wanted the assistant head to have the post instead. After a term and a half of intense, constant criticism and bullying, I walked out (and into the arms of my very supportive union). Luckily, I received full pay until August and a reference. I took the first job I was offered for September - it was maternity leave cover, but I loved the school and they claimed they were big enough that chances were they would give me a permanent post in Sept. I was happy. But at Easter, the news came that the budget was being squeezed and I had better start searching again. So I have. Last week, I had two interview (with lesson observations and tasks, etc. etc.). Both times my lessons were praised as outstanding. The teaching job went to an NQT - the school said I'd be an attribute to any school but they really felt I'd be great in management. The second, an assistant headship, said I didn't sound like I'd be assertive enough with staff if they refused to comply to rules. Now the job listings have petered out. I think I'm too expensive to be just a teacher, but clearly not good enough to be management. Where on earth do I go from here? I love teaching and I don't want to retire!