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Head of Sixth Form

Discussion in 'Career clinic' started by nbelshaw, Nov 1, 2018.

  1. nbelshaw

    nbelshaw New commenter

    Hi all. First post on here looking for a bit of advice...

    I've been a PE teacher for 10 years, leading the sport course in the 6th form for the past 6 years. I'm looking at progressing my career but being a Head of PE doesn't really appeal to me at the moment, I would love to become an assistant/head of 6th form.

    However most jobs I see require middle leadership experience, so its a bit of a catch 22. I have two whole school responsibilities, and contribute a lot to the wider school.

    Is there anything I should be looking to do that would enhance my position to apply for a head of 6th form position? I am considering applying for the NPQML buy I already have a masters degree.

    Thanks in advance
  2. CWadd

    CWadd Star commenter


    You have got leadership experience in that you have whole school responsibilities, so think about how your responsibilities would make you a credible Head of Sixth. You've led a Sport course, so you know about the demands of Sixth Form teaching, but a key area for Heads of KS5 is pastoral. You'll be supporting teenagers through a very vulnerable stage of their lives - pressures of sex, relationships, drugs. Not to mention university applications and jobs. Your best bet might be to apply for a HoY post, as most schools now seem to have an overall Head of Sixth Form, then Heads of Year for Y12 and Y13. This provides a way to gain experience and also strengthen your leadership skills. Good luck with what you decide.
  3. saints_coach

    saints_coach New commenter

    Thanks very much for your reply. Our school has non teaching heads of year so would have to look elsewhere.
    agathamorse likes this.
  4. CWadd

    CWadd Star commenter

    Good luck with your search.
  5. dts

    dts Occasional commenter

    Some good advice above. I was in a small school, and asked to move to being a sixth form tutor. From there I could build the experience needed to put myself forward as a Head of Sixth candidate.

    Do you deliver academic PE to A Level or equivalent? If not you might need to think about how your academic credentials are perceived as well.
  6. saints_coach

    saints_coach New commenter

    Yes I’ve done that and been a 6th form tutor for the past 4 years.

    I lead the level 3 vocational PE course and been doing that for 8 years now.
    agathamorse likes this.
  7. dts

    dts Occasional commenter

    If you do any further course, I'd look at NPQSL rather than ML, but it's not essential.

    Depending on your relationship with the current Head of Sixth, could you ask them for some guidance or even support them unofficially? In my case I was working under a mathematician who hated reference writing, so I took over responsibility for coordinating them across all the tutor groups.
  8. mothorchid

    mothorchid Star commenter

    I don't know the situation in your school, but careers training would be useful - ie UCAS and other HE training as well as things like apprenticeships etc. Also, possibly, counselling training - especially that aimed at older students, and issues that might arise there.
    If you have time and strength (!) you could try supporting your head of sixth form in a sort of deputising role (assemblies, mentoring etc) but I don't suppose the school would offer any money for this.
    Being a sixth form tutor would be a key role as preparation.
    I was a head of sixth form for a number of years and I loved it. Good luck.

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