1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded education professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

In-Tray exercise for HOD

Discussion in 'Heads of department' started by cbks0440, Mar 8, 2016.

  1. cbks0440

    cbks0440 New commenter

    Hi all,

    I have an interview coming up to be a head of subject, and I have been told that I will have to complete an in-tray exercise. I know that they can be to do with prioritising, but I wondered if anyone has any experience of completing one of these tasks? There are so many things that it ´could be´, and I wondered if someone with some experience could share theirs with me, so that I can at least have some idea.

    I´ve managed to find some online for Deputy Heads, but I´m struggling for HODs.

    Thanks so much,

  2. alainechristian

    alainechristian New commenter

    I had to analyse some data for a student who's parent had called in concerned and write an email back to the HOY explaining progress.

    Then I had to briefly plan out the type of session my department would run on a whole school "Awe and Wonder" Day (probably just the school I interviewed at!)

    Set cover for an absent colleague.

    Then there was an "awkward conversation" question - I can't remember the exact situation, but it was basically how would I approach a member of my department who was not meeting deadlines and there were concerns about their standard of teaching after and observation. (I had to describe the approach I would take).
    cbks0440 likes this.
  3. mathsenthusiast

    mathsenthusiast New commenter

    Advice I've always heard on 'in-tray' exercises is ultimately that anything safeguarding related is obviously priority one. After that, sending out holding responses to parents/other stakeholders with a time frame in which you'll reply more fully, and then the rest is up to you. I think ultimately there isn't a 'right order' with in-tray; they are just interested in your thought process and reasoning. I hope that helps!
    pepper5, tb9605 and cbks0440 like this.
  4. applecrumblebumble

    applecrumblebumble Lead commenter

    Always deal with parental issues first - hw, lack of, marking etc. I had a subject OFSTED type report and had to write an action plan prioritising which task first and so on.
    pepper5 and cbks0440 like this.
  5. cbks0440

    cbks0440 New commenter

    Thank you everyone. I'm grateful. Fingers crossed! X
    pepper5 likes this.
  6. Dragonlady30

    Dragonlady30 Star commenter

    Am I being a bit thick here, (It wouldn't be the first time :oops: ) but I'm assuming an in-tray task would represent what a HoD/ HoY would be presented with first thing in the morning. Surely, if there's a staff member off ill and cover work needs to be set, this is the priority as there is an immediacy and urgency-30 kids in a room with nothing to do. Remember, the Devil makes work for idle hands. All of the other tasks would need to be prioritised, but there would not be the same level of urgency.
    pepper5 and navtakhar like this.
  7. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Urgent and important come first. Could it be dealt with in half an hour without any loss of efficiency or safety? Year 9 on their own could not!

    And remember that there may be a school policy on some things. You cannot be expected to know their policies, but can at least mention that you would check the school policy and procedures.

    Have you found the Professional Advice Hub? It has loads of advice articles ondifferent aspects of school life, careers and job hunting.

    Interviews advice: I have included here links that may not be relevant to you, for the benefit of other posters.

    3. Preparing for Interview I suggest that you read these in this order

    Does calling for a reference mean that you've been shortlisted for interview? ***NEW ***

    Help, I've got an interview! *** The basic advice ***

    Teaching an observed lesson at interview

    Using mind-mapping for interviews *** The best-loved advice ***

    Tell us about yourself - dream or nightmare question? *** Read and note this ***

    Daft Interview Questions

    What shall I wear to the interview?

    Interviews – making a positive first impression

    How do you decide who to appoint?

    What excuse can I give for going to interview?

    Child Protection: the questions, NOT the answers

    A typical Child Protection Policy

    Two interviews and a dilemma

    Interview feedback - they blamed my experience, but they knew that when they shortlisted me!

    SLT interviews - possible questions

    In-tray exercises. Deputy Head

    Assistant Head interviews

    General interview questions

    Questions to ask at the end of your interview

    Best wishes

    pepper5 likes this.
  8. minnie me

    minnie me Star commenter

    It's awful and I wonder what I 'm doing here
    adamcreen and jarndyce like this.
  9. hennapen

    hennapen New commenter

    Hi these look really great but unfortunately the links come back as access denied. Is there anything I need to do to get access please?

    Many thanks


Share This Page