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Discussion in 'Headteachers' started by mms1, Dec 30, 2018.

  1. mms1

    mms1 Occasional commenter

    Hi all,

    I am now in my second year as a Headteacher having climbed the ladder relatively speedily since qualifying in 2006. I rather hoped by now I would feel a little more 'on top' of things but find the list of things to do getting longer by the day and precious little progress in terms of my confidence.

    I find so much of my time being consumed by parents, staffing issues and the unexpected means I make really slow progress against whole school development.

    Is this about right for 2 yrs in?

    Thanks folks and happy New Year!
  2. lindenlea

    lindenlea Star commenter

    This is going to sound really Pollyannaish but I was told it on a management course and never forgot it.
    Every time someone comes to you with an "issue" that's an opportunity to show your leadership and make an effective input into the development of the school. Using these opportunities is far more likely to have a real impact on the school than imposing some plan that you might embody your priorities but not the priorities of the people you rely on to actually put things in to practice. It's a chance to walk the walk.
    Shoot me down if you want to - I retired 9 years ago and only made deputy.:)
  3. Sundaytrekker

    Sundaytrekker Star commenter

    Agree Lindenlea but with the proviso that some time is also ringfenced to make progress with plans etc. One head I know negotiated with governors that he would spend one morning a week, mid week, working from home and would only be phoned by school for a school burning down type of emergency. It’s amazing how much can wait when the answer is he/she is not in school today.
    lindenlea likes this.
  4. Hil2009

    Hil2009 New commenter

    Entirely normal. Much better to be out and about but make this year the one where you rigidly set some time aside. Shut the door and get your PA/secretary to guard it for a specified amount of time. Also you must delegate. You can’t do everything and you will get the team on board if you give them stuff to do. Keep handling the parents but share out the rest.
  5. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    It will take time, effort and, above all, diplomacy but you can engender an ethos among the staff of "Come to me with a solution" rather than "Come to me with a problem". It does increase a feeling of staff empowerment if done carefully.
    Pomza, Nowayout and Marshall like this.
  6. Marshall

    Marshall Star commenter

    Great Nomad - wish I had taken account of this years ago!

    With regard to 'being on top of it' - it never happens!
    FerrisB, Nowayout and nomad like this.
  7. mms1

    mms1 Occasional commenter

    Thanks everyone for your wise words! I realise I am being hard on myself but I crave a bit of success if only to confirm I'm getting it right!
    Nowayout likes this.
  8. circuskevin

    circuskevin Established commenter

    Hi @mms1 ,

    Feel free to give us a ring whenever you like.

    I'll be able to give you suggestions for equipment to help your teachers/TA's do positive work with your special needs pupils.

    Cerebral palsy, spina bifida and autistic pupils are 3 categories that immediately spring to mind.

    Suggestions that can improve your school with very little effort.

  9. primaryconcern

    primaryconcern New commenter

    Hi @mms1, I am in exactly the same boat (qualified 2007). I’ve now been a head of school since September and am finding it impossible to get anything done. It’s my first time in a completely non-teaching role and I miss having a class! Sometimes it feels the whole day is taken up with issues and then I have to rush to try and complete urgent paperwork. It’s never ending! :/

    As others have suggested, I think it’s important to give yourself credit for dealing with issues as this will show you have credibility. At least by dealing with issues from parents you get to know them, which forges trusting relationships.

    Wishing you luck!
  10. dataholic

    dataholic New commenter

    What does your school improvement partner/development partner say? If you reflect back on their reports then hopefully you will see that you are making a difference and experience that feeling of success you are craving...

    I am in year three of my first headship and have to say that the first to years were incredibly tough and I too felt like I was constantly battling with day to day tasks to move things forward, but that was absolutely what was needed at the time, particularly in year one when a lot of change was called for. Things are much, much better now as one of the things I was adamant I was going to do was to add a really clear middle leadership structure through adding TLRs and therefore distribute responsibility. These have been really well embedded now and people are much more willing to make decisions and take ownership over not only monitoring, but also developing their areas. Other staff go to them rather than me in the first instance and more often than not it stays at that level. Having really great people in these posts has literally been a God send! Maybe look at your structure and see what would make a difference for potentially not a massive amount of money.

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