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Head of ICT responsible for X-Curricular ICT?

Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by bw999, Jan 13, 2011.

  1. I have been asked to co-ordinate cross curricular ICT at KS4, as my school has decided that ICT will not be taught to all pupils. However, I am HOD and am currently planning for delivery of 3 new courses (we are a new school, with only Y7 and Y8 currently, with 6th form to come sep 2011). I am sure this will be an increasingly common situation in the current climate!

    Can I conceivably combine the roles of HOD and ICT co-ordinator and do both effectively? My feelings are that for me to ensure X-curricular is done properly I will have to invest a great deal of time mapping the PoS and constantly observing, advising and training staff. Does anyone have direct experience of doing this and how have you found it?

    Finally, responsibility for X-curricular is not in my contract, when I mentioned this to SLT I was told that as I will have a smaller team to manage due to no core ICT, the X-curricular element will replace that responsibility!

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated, thanks.
     
  2. I have been asked to co-ordinate cross curricular ICT at KS4, as my school has decided that ICT will not be taught to all pupils. However, I am HOD and am currently planning for delivery of 3 new courses (we are a new school, with only Y7 and Y8 currently, with 6th form to come sep 2011). I am sure this will be an increasingly common situation in the current climate!

    Can I conceivably combine the roles of HOD and ICT co-ordinator and do both effectively? My feelings are that for me to ensure X-curricular is done properly I will have to invest a great deal of time mapping the PoS and constantly observing, advising and training staff. Does anyone have direct experience of doing this and how have you found it?

    Finally, responsibility for X-curricular is not in my contract, when I mentioned this to SLT I was told that as I will have a smaller team to manage due to no core ICT, the X-curricular element will replace that responsibility!

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated, thanks.
     
  3. djphillips1408

    djphillips1408 New commenter

    I don't know a lot about employment law but can they change your terms and conditions like that?
    In your shoes, I would just pick up TES and start the job hunt. We all know cross curricular is not going to work so why hang around to see it fail. If you do it's only going to frustrate you that the quality of delivery is going to plummet and kids will learn nothing challenging. If it were me I couldn't work under that, but hey I'm a teacher first and foremost and a manager by chance.....
     
  4. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    Beware.

    I was Head of a school's specialist subject that needed to become more cross curricular, and without having a formal title, I did what I could to encourage other subject teachers to adopt my subject's approaches and develop the necessary practical skills. This included running training sessions in my own spare time and answering queries about how to move forwards with adopting my subject elsewhere. They were all very grateful for my support, and I still managed to run my subject too.

    Then one day the HT told me at very short notice that my subject was being removed from KS4. When I asked how the students would possibly acquire the necessary specialist skills and knowledge, I was told that they were now cross-curricular.
     
  5. Thanks for the response. I'm a new HOD in post only since September, I moved halfway across the country for the job (by the way this was never mentioned at interview etc. I was led to believe I would have core ICT classes). I'm not sure I would fancy my chances of getting a similar post! It is my worry that this will mean I'm caught up in attempting to manage an impossible job, as with yourself I'm only in this job to teach the subject I'm passionate about. We are an Academy so maybe they can dictate changes to T&C, although I doubt it.
     
  6. I've checked and they can't change my T&C ;) Should I just refuse and say I'll only concentrate on the ICT/Computing curriculum? The more I've thought about it I think I'd just be setting myself up for a fall by accepting this, either the cross curricular element, my department or both would fail depending on how I split my time.... Anyone need a well qualified and enthusiastic Head of IT?
     
  7. X-c won't work. Never has never will. it is also highly time consuming and frustrating even trying. How to get out of it? 'Say you are going to apply for a job and of course inform your head as you would normally do. If you are new and the head is worth his salt, this should lead to a conversation. You don't have to actually apply. More directly, thank them but say no as it's not in your t&c and get a reply in writibg. You ask yiur union to help although they are powerless now. You could just get on with it but concentrate efforts where there is some chance of something happening. A,new job will happen even if you think it won't.

    Isuspect that we are all going to see changes like this to our jobs soon, as x-c is peddled by people who weren't around the last time the disaster happened.
     
  8. colwynexile

    colwynexile Occasional commenter

    The 'ICT across Curriculum' role is an SLT job not a HoD job. As HoD you are solely responsible for the delivery of the appropriate courses within your Academy, and as such are answerable to your SLT for the performance of your Dept in that role. This will undoubtably suffer should you have to spend time away from doing your main role of managing your Dept, irrespective of the importance attached to it (if its not core, you'll have less staff to manage, who will therefore have a fuller timetable in order to teach the lessons that need to be picked up from the staff you would have had if it was core, and who still need to be managed properly).
    You don't see heads of Humanities being given simialr roles to encourage PLTS throughout a school, nor Heads of English used to encourage better literacy throughout each subject (on that point, we've removed our Literacy / Numeracy co-ordinator a couple of years ago as it was one of these 'made-up' jobs that meant we were paying someone on a Leadership pay grade to get everyone else to do the work for them).
    As far as the constant whining about Academies - the situation should be no different than for a normal school. Maybe I'm lucky in being in one of the good Academies that care (as much as any public sector school does anyway) about their staff and so have transferred P&C, union rep and acknowledgement, and have encouraged the use of a staff medical scheme part paid by the employer.
    As a new school you primary aim is to get bums on seats to ensure you meet the pupil numbers you would have set out in the Academy proposal in order to obtain the budgets you have predicted. If you don't get bums on seats the plans for resourcing in the Academy goes **** up and you'll have cut backs. You will only do this by having good quality courses, well taught, and well resourced - this is what your SLT should be thinking of, rather than a cost-cutting exercise so early in the life of the school, that will remove your attention from the subject and lower the quality of work you produce!
     
  9. Thanks for all the advice. I am a little concerned about basically refusing to do this so early in my new job, but I will have to discuss it with SLT and outline my position.
    I agree about academies Colwynexile, mine does not seem to use the new regs (or lack thereof) as an excuse to bash staff and I have found it preferable to a regular secondary so far (this battle on cross curricular IT excluded).
    I do worry a great deal about the future of our subject if delivery is left in the hands of non-specialists advised by similarly non-specialist SLT, the blind leading the blind indeed.
     
  10. Doing both roles is perfectly possible. Why not use it as a starting point for a promotion? Ask SLT to upgrade your role to Director of ICT or something along those lines.

    I've been leading Maths, ICT across curric, IT Support, Data & others this year. Hard work yes, spread thinly yes, but just about doable!
     
  11. colwynexile

    colwynexile Occasional commenter

    I will admit that this is possible provided that you are not in a role of ensuring that ICT is taught across different subjects, but that ICT is used appropriately and effectively across subjects. For all the reasons mentioned above and on other threads (see the BETT thread for more details) I do not believe that you can effectively run ICT teaching across different subjects and fortunately neither do Ofsted.
     

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