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Joining SLT as an Assistant Headteacher

Discussion in 'Senior Leadership Team' started by Huwrichards30, Dec 26, 2015.

  1. Huwrichards30

    Huwrichards30 New commenter

    I have recently been appointed as an AHT in a secondary school. I was a class teacher for 4 years, Head of Department for a year then Head of Faculty for 3 years. I have 8 years teaching experience of leading whole school iniatives and curriculum related matters. Any advice on the challenges I might face and ideas on teaching time / commitments ?
  2. kevgeall

    kevgeall New commenter

    Hello Huw, congratulations on your appointment. Teaching allocation for AHT seems to vary enormously. In some schools AHTs are glorified heads of faculty, put onto the leadership scale to get them off the 1265 hours, who hold little whole-school responsibility of any weight. In other schools they hold responsibilities and timetables you'd expect of a deputy head.

    Your experience will have prepared you well for much of what will come next.
    From my experience the biggest difference will be the unpredictability of your workload. You know when the crunch times of controlled assessment, options, exam prep etc., all fall and can prepare accordingly. You can't prepare in advance for when a member of staff engages in misconduct and you have to investigate it. Rarely do these sorts of things fall when you're not already very busy. In this respect some pastoral experience is useful in those moving on to AHT (though imho I think the role generally draws far more on the skills more commonly developed through the faculty/curricular route).

    You will also be judged by your colleagues in all that you do, all the time. If you are late to your own lesson you can't expect people to understand that you were consoling a tearful member of staff or resolving a dispute between pupils on the way. You were simply late. You know all this of course, and will have the skin required for it or you wouldn't have been given the job. I don't know how much you socialise with staff or how much you are a "man of the people" but how people see and interact with you may or may not change; I don't know enough about you or your context to say.

    Good luck. I have to say that, despite all the rubbish from government and the inspectorate, and however much I liked parts of being head of science, on balance SLT has been my favourite role in teaching.

  3. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Great post, @kevgeall !

    Best wishes to Huw in his new post.


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