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Minimum experience for Deputy Head

Discussion in 'Professional development' started by Imp72, Dec 3, 2007.

  1. If every leader I have ever worked for who was deemed 'experienced' enough was as several of you have described then I would agree, conversely if all those inexperienced ones were like you suggest. However as someone who has:
    never led a core subject
    taught KS2 and 3 but never KS1
    appointed HT in a school with many staff old enough to be my parents!

    I am clearly not up to the job!

    This is despite having presided over the biggest increase in results the school has seen in living memory, changed the leadership of the school from Jean-Luc Picard with everything controlled from the bridge (by apparently VERY experienced HT according to his CV!)resulting in unionised staff to everyone feeling involved and only losing one member of staff (to retirement!) in the process.

    May as well hang my boots up now as I was only a lowly Assistant Head before I became HT so cannot possibly have had enough experience to make any more progress.

    Or alternatively as professionals we can recognise that age and experience do not necessarily go together and look at the attributes each person has. We can all reel off anecdotes.
  2. Well said, madphil. As a Deputy who has only taught KS2 and had been teaching just over 5 years when I became DHT, I totally agree with you. It is the skills that you bring to the job that are most important. Some experience is vital, but you cannot generalise by counting in years.

  3. But, both of you DID have over 4 years experience when you became DHTs. I don't discount ability. I have encountered some incompetent HTs and DHTs with lots of experience. However, I have encountered some incompetent HTs and DHTs with very little years experience who thought that because they had become HTs or DHTs so quickly that they knew it ALL!

    I still don't think that 4 years experience is a lot to ask for when it comes to being a DHT.
  4. What about people who may have had less than 5 years teaching experience but have had management/leadership roles in other professions before going in to teaching?
  5. That is why one size should not fit all!!!! Teaching can be very conservative when 'promotion' is mentioned!!
  6. I totally agree that this is key. It does not matter what age you are but what experience you have and whether it is of good quality.
    Personally, I had been teaching 10 years in four different schools (2 judged 'outstanding') and had taught in both KS1 and KS2 along with Foundation. I had also led Maths, English, Humanities and am an accredited SENCO. I was a year leader for three years and AHT for two years before becoming a DHT at 30. When people need support or advice I can draw on sound experience, if I could not do this then the role of DHT would be very tricky indeed. I think anyone making the leap without sound prior experience is setting themselves up for a lot of stress and anguish.
  7. I'm always enthralled to read threads like this. I've been teaching for 8 years and am now, slowly, making moves for promotion. When I first mentioned my thoughts to others, I earnestly believed someone was going to say, "but you're still a new teacher, how could you know enough to lead a department?" And that's just a department - not a whole school managment role. As someone who came to teaching later, and with a background in management consultancy prior to teaching, I don't lack the maturity or theoretical knowledge of how to manage but in my professional mind I cannot believe that someone sees themselves as being ready to lead effectively, to guide, to inspire, to support, to facilitate, to challenge, to motivate, to mentor, to manage (even when times are tough) a staff of adults without a number of years of experience - I can't believe 4 is acceptable for a job of this magnitude. But, I'm in Scotland, perhaps the modesty my nation is famous for keeps me from accepting that someone who has taught for 195x4 = 780 days can lead a school forward in achieving excellence.


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