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In tray exercises for Year Leader

Discussion in 'Senior Leadership Team' started by Potter69, Apr 17, 2009.

  1. Normal


    I have an interview for a Year Leader post next week, and as
    part of my interview I have been told there will be in tray exercises which
    have to be completed in 30 minutes or so. I have googled this in to look for
    examples, but everything I have come across seems to be for the world of
    business, and nothing on the education sector.

    I was wondering if anyone has been asked to complete such
    exercises, and whether I could have some examples please. I am eager to get
    this job as I have been job hunting for quite a while now, so please any help
    or suggestions would be very much appreciated.

    Many Thanks
  2. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    It will be a pile of crises about kids - 'Mrs Nowty Parent rang to say her daughter's being bullied', 'Mr DT teacher left message on your desk last night re child disclosing abuse at home', 'Mr Nasty Parent rang to say his daughter's being bullied and you've done nothing so he's coming into school first thing to sort it out', etc. Bullying is bound to be there at least once!
    Your task is to prioritise action and say what such action should be.
  3. I had one of these to do for a head of year job a few years ago. They gave me five things and I had to say which would be dealt with first during the hour time I had.

    I was told - A child has been sent out of a lesson to you for behaving badly, A child has confided in you that there is supposed to be a fight after school with pupils from the adjacent school, Mrs X is on the phone claiming their child is being bullied and wants it dealing with NOW, A parent is concerned about their child's attitude at home and lack of homework and wants a meeting to discuss it and you have a lower school assembly to prepare for tomorrow morning.

    I was then given 5 minutes to think about the order I would do them in and why. I didn't get the job- but I did, in their opinion, get the in tray activity in the right order. They appointed someone who had been HoY at another school. But I did get assistant HoY so it wasn't too bad!!!!

    with mine the easiest to dismiss was the child sent due to bad behaviour- that doesn't follow the school's policy- so I sent them back to class telling them such!
  4. going grey quickly

    going grey quickly New commenter

    mine was very simialar to the examples above, but also included scenarios where I had to say that the scenario in question did not fall in head of years remit and needed to be passed to the staff member whose remit coveredit.
  5. Thanks for your input, and ideas. Do you remember which order was the correct one? I want to see if I've done them correctly.

  6. Thanks for this. Have you got any bright ideas about ECM? Apparently, it's big in this school, as it is raising standards of achievement as highlighted by their recent Ofsted.
    I have some ideas about the latter, which I am sure are the normal ideas used to encourage pupils, but wanted to know if anyone had any bright, unique ideas they use in their schools.

  7. I had one of these at a Deputy Head's interview a couple of months ago.
    I was told that it was 10:30 and I had the following things to deal with as the head was out for the day. I had to write my responses, saying what I was thinking and doing, and my reasons for doing them.

    1) A meeting with a parent in five minutes to discuss their child, who they felt was being bullied.
    2) A memeber of staff is unwell and really needs to go home.
    3) Two boys have had a fight and one of them has made off. He normally returns to class but it is not clear whether he is still on the school site.
    4) You are teaching a maths booster session after lunch and haven't yet prepared.
    5) You have to meet with the head of English to discuss tomorrow's staff meeting.
    6) All staff need to be informed of the agenda before tomorrow's staff meeting.
    7) Two children turn up to show you their good work.

    It wasn't too bad - I got the job after all! The most important thing to remember is that your priority is always the health and safety of the children first and then the staff. Make sure there isn't a red herring in there (something outside your normal duties). Also, make sure you mention that if you're following any procedures, then you would follow the school's policy, as this will obviously be different in every school.

    Hope this helps.
  8. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    Did you say that item 4 would never be an issue for you, as you'd always have prepared?!
  9. Clever answer!

  10. I would ve answered:
    7 (although this could be dealt with at break or lunch time?),
    6 (Maybe ask the receptionist or admin nicely to put memo in staff pigeon holes?),
    What do you think?
  11. cornflake

    cornflake Senior commenter

    I'd argue that as long as chidlren's saftey has been prioritised, there is no "right" way ... what is interesting is WHY you proritise, and what it says about you.
    eg: what can you immediately delegate effectively? Can someone placate the parent by offering coffee and exlain you have been delayed, while you deal with immediate crisis of missing child (or find a senior teacher who can deal with this for you). Ask someone to sort out supervision for ill teachers class (short term ie next half an hour, and long term - rest of day), and check they can get home okay. Staff meetings and agendas can wait - and you should have done the planning yesterday! Even if you haven't, you should be experienced enough to know roughly what you are doing that lesson ... or ask a colleague for help quickly before the afternoon sessions begin!
  12. Thanks for this. I had the same idea along the same lines. I am doing some research on ECM, and raising standards of achievement. It's mind boggling! But, I suppose at the end of the day useful if well implemented.

  13. weezadance1

    weezadance1 New commenter

    I agree with the things said here. The in-tray will be about prioritising a list of 'incidents'. Don't forget to research the support systems available in the school so you can 'delegate' incidents to assistant year head, or tutor or 'nurse' or G&T co-ordinator etc. Don't try and give the impression that you would do everything yourself and don't be afraid to suggest some 'delaying' tactics which will give you space, as a HOY to find out all the facts.
    Good Luck.

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