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Heads' experiences of being in Requires Improvement

Discussion in 'Headteachers' started by oogiemac, Nov 6, 2017.

  1. oogiemac

    oogiemac New commenter

    Hi all,

    I was just wondering if colleagues would mind sharing any experiences they have had of being a headteacher in a 'Requires Improvement' school. Being a headteacher can be a lonely place so it would be really useful to hear about the ups and downs of others who've been in a similar position to the one I've just started.

    CONTEXT: New primary head (first headship) who has just taken over a school judged RI just before taking over.

  2. digoryvenn

    digoryvenn Lead commenter

    Good luck.

    Make sure that the governors are prepared for and understand the changes you will have to make to improve the school.
    It is not going to be easy as you will soon have another ofsted visit. Address the priorities from the report quickly as ofsted will want to see what you are doing to improve the situation.
    nomad likes this.
  3. cornflake

    cornflake Senior commenter

    OP: what in particular worries you? Are you in a MAT or still maintained? Primary? Do you agree with the judgement?

    The thing that's kept me going - the children, always. And the AD's.
    And more recently, Governors and staff...
  4. Lindzloo

    Lindzloo New commenter

    Very interested in this thread. I have just applied for a position in an outstanding school in a MAT but they called and said they have another school they think may be of interest to me but it's an RI school! I've visited and think I could take it on but it is a scary prospect as a first time head. It has an interim trouble shooting head in from the MAT at the mo who will continue this year. Were you nervous about taking on an RI school?
  5. Skychaserhigh

    Skychaserhigh New commenter

    Taking on an RI school is a big task @Lindzloo, In my experience there are two schools of thought in turning things around: Bring in someone to wield an axe, put pressure on and move people out, or Bring someone in to develop and work with what is there.
    Obviously the second option takes more time. I made it clear when taking on my RI school that I was in the second camp, and said at interview if they wanted to go the other way then there were better candidates out there than me. Thankfully I got the post.
    I will not lie to you, it is tough, but hugely rewarding, you see little improvements every week and it makes your hard work seem worth while. I am very well supported both in school and by the authority and everyone has recognised that it will take time to turn around.
    I would be asking what sort of support is being offered to you, what the MAT sees as the short term solutions, a 'trouble shooting head' sounds like they are there to ruffle feathers and begin capability of staff they are keen to move on - be careful you don't get left with the aftermath of this!
    Our school held out for a more experienced head, but we are in quite an extreme position! I hope, what ever you decide, that it works out well for you!
  6. cornflake

    cornflake Senior commenter

    Right now, it feels like we can't ever get out....
  7. Lindzloo

    Lindzloo New commenter

    Thankyou so much for your detailed reply. Yes I've checked the support available and all boxes seem to be ticked- Governors involved, parents on board, MAT- some local schools in sim position in the MAT to work together with etc etc. The trouble shooting head is actually there as he's highly experienced and I think because of the position and size of the school it would not attract an experienced head. It appears from piecing evidence together that all current staff are fully invested in the development and journey and had unfortunately suffered from poor leadership. The experienced interim head has spoken honestly about the schools position and paints a relatively positive picture of its potential and capacity to improve with the right leader. We shall see! Watch this space. I'm awaiting news of interview date :-/

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