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HoD application knockback

Discussion in 'Secondary' started by cheesywotsit, Mar 13, 2016.

  1. cheesywotsit

    cheesywotsit New commenter

    Just wondering what others thought of this: I've been teaching for 14 years, the last 8 of which have been part-time as I've been bringing up my kids. I've worked as a classroom teacher for all this time. I recently applied for a Head of Department post, but didn't get an interview, despite having all the right experience and qualifications. I asked for feedback on my application and one of the reasons given for not interviewing was that I "would probably find the jump from part-time to full-time too challenging". I find this quite insulting but wondered if anyone else had encountered this?
  2. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    Theo and I always say that feedback is rarely worth asking for or listening to - this is because they're usually coming up with any old thing to fob you off. You're lucky, to be honest,t hat they were even willing to give you feedback on your application, because most heads will not do so (and are not obliged to do so).

    You might believe that your application demonstrated all the right things - but you don't know whether it was in the top x that they decided to shortlist for the post.
    wanet likes this.
  3. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    I'm sorry that you were disappointed in this application. Horrid feeling, isn't it? I sympathise. :(

    There is a set number of shortlisted candidates that a school will be able to interview. If there were 20 applicants, and all of them complied with all of the requirements (or 50, and all 50 complied), one wouldn't expect all to be interviewed. So they will then look at other aspects of the application and suitability of a candidate.

    Yes indeed.

    Spot on.

    Absolutely right!

    If you have not had any experience of supporting colleagues (i/c of planning and materials for a KS, for example), it might be a good idea to try and get that before the next application.

    Best wishes

  4. cheesywotsit

    cheesywotsit New commenter

    It wasn't the not being shortlisted that flabbergasted me, it was being told that I wouldn't cope with being full time. Do people really think that bringing up a family is all sitting around on your backside sipping tea and eating biscuits?
  5. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    They had to think of something to say, to be honest.

    Don't let it stop you applying for other FT posts

    Best wishes

    wanet likes this.
  6. frangipani123

    frangipani123 Lead commenter

    Is it actually legal for them to say that to you? I thought that part-time staff had to be treated in the same way as full-timers and that it is discriminatory to say what has been said to you, as most part-timers are women. They may find it difficult to give feedback but you are entitled to it and they have, in my view, discriminated against you.
  7. TCSC47

    TCSC47 Star commenter

    This is my feeling also, but it is clearly not worth the candle to make a fuss about it.

    I think you have a strong case to be annoyed though and I think you were right to ask for feedback. You now know it is not your teaching ability or job application that was at fault, so this should give you confidence for the future. One thing you could do would be to go for supply on your non teaching days to show your commitment to, and ability at, full time working.

    I always viewed interviews as two way things. I was as much judging them as they were judging me, and although you did not get to interview, you were given your answer as to should you take the job if offered. My response would have been "No thank you". You are not doing your job properly by prejudging my case in this way and I do not wish to work for you!"

    On the matter of interview feedback, I have always asked for it and benefited from a lot of it. Although as stated by Theo and Mid, it may not have always been that good and may have been just trying to fob me off, it is up to me to decide if that is the case or not. I don't have to take any notice of it if I don't want to.

    And because feedback is such an irksome thing to give after an interview, it is my revenge for them not giving me the job. Yes I know, ---- I am one of those irritating people who need to be a bit more mature, but, hey!, there you go.
  8. TCSC47

    TCSC47 Star commenter

    And would you want to work for bozos like this? I rest my case!

    Best wishes.
  9. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    If the OP is working part-time, but applying for a full time post I think it is only natural for the SLT to wonder whether she would be as effective as other candidates who currently work full time. Equally if they wanted to work as a part-time HoD this isn't always ideal (I have seen even a HoD working 4 days a week was always needed for urgent matters on the one day a week they didn't work.

    My advice to the OP would be to seek to work full time and apply for HoD roles on that basis. And whilst I agree that feedback can usually not be believed, I do wonder if this feedback has, at least, an element of taught in it.

    NB When applying for jobs some years ago I found some schools no longer gave feedback 'as a matter of policy'. Presumably because they felt they couldn't actually tell the truth...!
    wanet likes this.
  10. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    It's annoying feedback. That job's gone, unless the successful candidate decides not to take the post, there's nothing you can do to get it back.

    I would say that you need to make sure that your next applications demonstrate that you are ready to return full time. Is there any chance that you can increase your hours in your current job?

    Good luck
  11. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    Have you applied to work ful time without a TLR? The school might be more convinced that you could take on the TLR workload alongside being full time if you were already doing full time, or at least had appled for it.

    Please don't let one rejection get you down. We can expect to be turned down more often than we are accepted. Just learn from the experience and, as far as possible, use the feedback from one application to improve your next one. I failed in 2 TLR applications before getting one. I almost didn't apply for the one I got. I found myself telling my departing 6th form class that it is better to try and fail than not try at all. Realising that this made me a hypocrite, I went home and wrote an application letter.
    wanet likes this.
  12. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    Yes. First, the truth might upset the applicant. It is one thing to hear that it was a close decision which went to an outstanding candidate, but another to hear that you were not even close. And, as we have seen on these forums on several occasions, the reason given could be illegal, and used against the school. If no reason is given, we might suspect something dodgy is going on, but it would be very hard to prove.
  13. anon8315

    anon8315 Established commenter

    Hmm; I know what the school means, although I agree they phrased it badly.

    There's a huge grey space between part time classroom teaching and full time HOD, and I suppose that space would typically be filled with full time teaching, full time teaching with a TLR/extra responsibility of some description and so on.

    Applying for HOD roles isn't always on the basis of existing HOD/Lead Teacher/KS co-ordinator but I would probably expect to see experience of that type in the last two or three years before applying for HOD.
    wanet likes this.

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