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Headship in England?

Discussion in 'Headteachers' started by tigger82, Feb 7, 2016.

  1. tigger82

    tigger82 New commenter


    I am currently the Head (or Heidie in this part of the world) at a special school in Scotland. I am looking to relocate to the North of England for family reasons and I wonder if anybody has any advice or thoughts on this? Obviously I have been familiarising myself with the relevant policies and initiatives in England and thinking about how my skills and experience translate.

    I have applied for one post so far and have spent the weekend looking at the adverts in the jobs section. I love working in the SEND sector but I have no idea what the competition is like for posts in England.

    Any advice or thoughts will be gratefully received.
  2. circuskevin

    circuskevin Established commenter

    Mmmm ... a special needs headteacher!

    I have long pointed out how special needs education could be improved for the recipients. Even David Cameron has invited me to the House of Commons to give my views on the matter.

    I wonder if we could have a little dialogue in this forum?

    [This comment/section has been removed for breaching our Community Guidelines/Terms and conditions]

    Kevin the Clown
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 9, 2016
  3. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    As you appear to want a dialogue, why not start it, then? There's more to a "dialogue" than you popping up and demanding one.

    And as for your claim about Cameron - yeah, that's happened.
  4. circuskevin

    circuskevin Established commenter

    Hi @Middlemarch

    I've done a lot of work with mobility needs of special needs students.

    So many stories to tell not to sure where to start.

    [This comment/section has been removed for breaching our Community Guidelines/Terms and conditions]

    Six months ago at a special school I lifted one girl out of her wheelchair and placed her on this. It took a while for myself and a TA to get her into any sort of position to wheel her around.

    When I started to pull the cart with the rope, her feet were still dragging on the floor. After several minutes of this I stopped. I was able to adjust her position so her feet were off the floor. She could then be pulled around without her feet dragging.

    Her 'reward' for holding her body in a better position was a smoother ride.

    An example of achievement using equipment the school could buy.

    I recounted this episode along with others to the deputy head at the other site of the school I was doing a week later.

    Her response was interesting. She spoke about a visit from an ofsted inspector who had no idea about autism despite being responsible for reporting on the school.

    The underlying message appeared to be they had no real interest in taking on board other ideas to improve things for their students.

    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 10, 2016
  5. circuskevin

    circuskevin Established commenter

    As for higher achieving SLD pupils ...

    Before the recession I would get them gigs at community events as stilt-walkers.

    There is a lovely design of stilt from Denmark with flexible footplates which makes the process of learning easier.

    I worked a week at one of these SLD schools once.

    At the end of the week one very overweight 18 year old girl did her stiltwalking in the final show. Although she had been at the school since the age of 3 years she had never performed before.

    There was a street festival in a local town nearby where they needed entertainers. I'd been given some of the budget. Part of it went to pay both her and another lad at the school to do some stiltwalking. Her mum made her some stilt trousers. Her size meant the ones i had wouldn't have fitted! I do remember one point in the afternoon when a tiny little dog looked up at her and barked his head off!

    Rather than hiding special needs pupils away it's nice to make them the stars and pay them too.

    A headteacher from a special school was on the radio a year or so ago. He was complaining about lack of employment opportunities. I rang the school to tell him some of the success I'd had. Didn't return the call.

  6. circuskevin

    circuskevin Established commenter

    The PE cupboards of outstanding special schools are just so bare!

    I've done two in January to confirm this is up to date information.

    A lot of new stuff has come out the past 20 years. Mobility needs are surely one of the most basic needs of these pupils?

    One item - a spin disc - is much used by autistic kids in America.

    Special schools seem very happy to coast just the way are.

  7. circuskevin

    circuskevin Established commenter

    At an outdoor council event last year in North Wales ...

    A 3 year old lad with spina bifida turned up in his wheel chair.

    I picked him up and placed him on a hand twister by winther. His body is supported and he swings a handle in front from side to side to pick up speed.

    Lots of other kids were playing on the foot twisters(twisting legs).

    Who was this wild young thing tearing around with regular crashes? I pointed out his wheelchair to onlookers.

    I went to help after one such crash. Placed his feet on the support bars. They fell off. Ever helpful I placed them back on. Again they fell off .. hang on .. I was watching .. I placed them back on .. they started to move .. he had just enough strength in his legs to slide them off the support rails!!

    [This comment/section has been removed for breaching our Community Guidelines/Terms and conditions]

    His Dad came across and asked me what this cart was and where to purchase. Apparently it was the lad's 4th birthday shortly.

    Just another example of the sort of equipment available which special schools are unaware of.

    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 10, 2016
  8. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    And this has what to do with the OP's question?

    That's a deeply offensive word you used there.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 10, 2016
  9. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter



  10. circuskevin

    circuskevin Established commenter

    Hi @TheoGriff and @Middlemarch ,

    I agree my comments have nothing to do with OP question.

    I saw it as an opportunity to raise my concerns about special needs education and ways it could be improved to a wider audience.

    Headteachers indeed hold the purse strings to buy some of this equipment to make their pupil's lives better.

    Do either of you have any family with special needs?

    David Cameron did which is why he responded to my letter.

  11. circuskevin

    circuskevin Established commenter

    Hi @Middlemarch ,

    I did not think the word offensive.

    From the Merriam-Webster dictionary

    Definition of *******
    1. : a disabled person who is unable to fully use one or both of his or her arms or legs Hint: In the past, this word was not considered offensive. In recent years, however, some people have come to find the word hurtful, and you may offend someone by using it.
  12. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    You're frighteningly lacking in awareness of what is - and is not - acceptable terminology in modern conversation, let alone professional discussion or speech. Did you read the second sentence of the definition that you posted?
  13. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    Yes. What's your point?

    If you want to start a discussion on a specific topic, you need to start your own thread. All you did was to hijack another person's thread about employment.

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