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‘I don’t see lines of teachers queuing up to take on headship, and I can understand why’

Discussion in 'Education news' started by TES_Rosaline, Jan 29, 2016.

  1. TES_Rosaline

    TES_Rosaline Administrator Staff Member

  2. TCSC47

    TCSC47 Star commenter

    I didn't take on a headship and I certainly don't regret it. And in any case I'm not sure I could have done the job anyway. I rose to be HOD, in secondary, and thought the job was too much effort for not enough reward, so I resigned my responsibility points. I then found myself floating (rather like scum I thought!) back up to HOD level again, this time in FE, which I kept until my dept. was merged with another and I had to re-apply for my post in competition. Needless to say I took early retirement instead.

    I thought the article was well written and very pertinent .

    I quote from the article :
    "The rate of attrition among school leaders who are sacked, who resign, or who simply disappear is one of the great scandals of our education system, writes a leading head. Also missing is the fun of the job."

    It remains to be seen which will be the limiting factor in the destruction of the UK's education system by the Nasty Party - the lack of sufficient new teachers, the dreadfully high resignation rate of classroom teachers or the fact that few people want to step up to what is certainly the pivotal role in any school, of Headship. As I write I am thinking about one of my ex-collogues and close friend who was an absolute charismatic and effective teacher with excellent managerial skills. He went on to become the Head of another school, but I was gob-smacked to hear a few months ago that he had resigned and gone back to being an ordinary teacher. You have to take my word for it, but he was certainly one of the best teachers that I came across and if he doesn't want to be a Head then what the Hell is going on?
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2016
  3. Annarosa1

    Annarosa1 Occasional commenter

    There was never a shortage of takers in the schools I worked in. One or two seemed to think they'd landed the job before the selection process was over.
  4. David Getling

    David Getling Lead commenter

    Assuming (a big assumption, perhaps) that one goes into teaching because one has a passion for ones subject, and wants to pass on that passion to young people, and enable them in it, why would one want to swap the class room to become a pen pusher cloistered away in an office for a lot of the time?

    I saw a good way of dealing with this at a private school in Rome. Teachers were elected to the post for a few years, and took turns at it. I have to say I was impressed by both the quality of the school and its staff.
  5. lizziescat

    lizziescat Star commenter

    Reasons for wanting to be head (from recent experience of those I've seen applying)
    • Educational? This is no longer the head's role. Note you are a Principal, CEO etc not a Head teacher.
    • Because you know what is wrong with education and have the answers (You clearly don't understand the complex world of people and/or learning)
    • To further your career/get out of the classroom. You should not be allowed anywhere near a management position of any sort in any organisation.
    I think we're seeing the last 2 categories becoming the dominant appointment criteria.

    Sadly, nowadays anyone who wants to be a head is not fit for the job.
  6. Mangleworzle

    Mangleworzle Star commenter

    Maybe they could sell the idea of becoming a HT to aspiring politicians as this criteria fits both groups. "Head Teach First".
  7. lizziescat

    lizziescat Star commenter

    Oh please don't give them ideas:eek:
    We already have non teacher Principals, let alone non-having-done-anything heads

    (although I'm sure it's already in some in-tern's, 'look how I can impress you with a really stupid idea which you will like' list.)
  8. foxtail3

    foxtail3 Star commenter

    The worst job in a school is deemed to be the deputy head- or so I was led to believe.

    It's a business now and it could be that there are still some teachers who do not wish to be the chief executive of a company. So they either stay in the classroom until they're too expensive or get out of teaching altogether.

    I also think that there is and will continue to be, a recruitment and retention crisis, despite the cringe making recruitment adverts.
  9. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    Because we don't want to work 65 hour weeks and sacrifice time with our families.
  10. Compassman

    Compassman Star commenter

    Isn't that normal for a classroom teacher these days. (Not that it should be)
    lizziescat likes this.
  11. lizziescat

    lizziescat Star commenter

    As a classroom teacher I was up to 75 hour weeks (and I still couldn't fit in the KS3 marking requirements)
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2016
  12. David Getling

    David Getling Lead commenter

    I'm truly amazed that anyone would put up with living like this. I certainly wouldn't!
  13. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    Your salary per hour less repayment of tuition fees must make any teacher in the first five years of teaching earn less than minimum wage.

    I think you will find there are people who simply will not work so many hours that it gets to the point that their families suffer. Subtract those from your pool of potential applicants. If you are working those hours - congratulations! Have you thought about becoming a headteacher?
  14. lizziescat

    lizziescat Star commenter

    I didn't, I resigned.

    (Unfortunately many in the middle part of their career e.g. 35-50s probably don't have that luxury.)
  15. Mangleworzle

    Mangleworzle Star commenter

    It was the final straw for me too. When the workload went up with an accompanying real terms decrease in salary it became the proverbial no-brainer.

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