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How to get a leadership job without experience?

Discussion in 'Senior Leadership Team' started by educadoralisa, Mar 22, 2019.

  1. educadoralisa

    educadoralisa New commenter

    I'm an eyfs teacher and I've been working for many years as a class teacher. I'm studying a MA on leadership and I'm a subject leader in my school. I'm looking in becoming an Eyfs leader and have been shortlisted for two interviews. Both feedback was "you are an amazing and strong candidate but you don't have experience in being an eyfs leader so we chose the other candidate. Keep applying and you will get a job." Unfortunately I'm now feeling that I will never get the experience as I cannot get a leadership job. How can I change this? What can I do to give me the experience they are looking for?
  2. Skeoch

    Skeoch Lead commenter

    Talk to your HT. What roles, tasks, projects can you do that will benefit the school and give you the experience you seek?
    EGO8 likes this.
  3. pi r squared

    pi r squared New commenter

    It's worth also bearing in mind that "you don't have experience" is sometimes a proxy for "we were always going to give it to the internal candidate" or "we just preferred the other candidate but need some artificial reason we chose them over you". It's perfectly natural that you won't have full experience of the job you're applying for if it's a promotion because... it's a promotion. Any additional responsibilities you can pick up, as Skeoch says, will help, but ultimately it's all about the schools and leadership teams you apply for - some might see your 'in'experience as an opportunity to train, mould, shape and coach you into not only a good leader in general but a good leader within the context of that school. Some schools might also favour that over a sometimes questionable 'sideways' move of a candidate with experience.
    EGO8 and Lillymagictrick like this.
  4. thejudgesscoresarein

    thejudgesscoresarein Occasional commenter

    Speak to your HT or line manager and ask for some development plan to be put in place. Could you potentially take the lead on a school initiative? It’s all the questions to ask if you’re going to progress.
    At my school, the AHT’s oversee the phases so the EYFS role comes under their duties and they work closely with the Reception teachers. We use to have individual phase leaders but these roles were eliminated when we re-structured SLT back in 2015.
  5. abacus1982

    abacus1982 Occasional commenter

    If you are shortlisted and interviewed it means you meet the job description and therefore have the capability to do the job. You don't know who you are up against, so try not to worry too much.

    In the meantime can you ask to shadow your current EYFS leader or take on an aspect of his/her leadership role to gain some experience. Is there something that you could really get your teeth into at school on leadership which isn't being done? Something to do with transition? Curriculum? Outside area? etc

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