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Move from KS4 to HOD role under bad results..advice please!!

Discussion in 'Heads of department' started by Libbi, Aug 22, 2015.

  1. Hello I'm quite new to posting in any of the Tes forums but after recent events at my current school I feel I need some advice from people who are already HOD'S. Our GCSE results have dipped significantly this year due to some grade boundary changes to the Cambridge IGCSE we had put our students in for, this has now resulted in our a-c for English and our EMMA dipping below base line levels. We are currently a 3 graded academy after an Ofsted visit in March this year so this really isn't good for the academy at all! I am currently in charge of KS4 but on results day I was asked by our head of I would consider stepping up to the role of HOD as our current HOD had been asked to step down due to the poor results!

    I have a young daughter and have in a lot of ways found juggling my work commitments and a young family hard this year. However in some respects I am very flattered that I have been asked to step up to the job and feel it would be good for my career but am worried that it will be a very very difficult job this year due to results.

    Any advice from people on here who are already in the would be really really helpful as I need to make a decision with the next week!
  2. What would you do to improve the results? If you can answer that then go for it. I would guess Year 10 into 11 are also doing the iGCSE so what happens to your job if they also get bad results? Good luck with whatever you decide.
    install likes this.
  3. How supportive of you would SLT be? We worked so hard this year and have suffered from the IGCSE changes in grade boundaries and surprisingly bad results. Nobody has made me feel like it's my fault. I feel terrible anyway, but if people were blaming me...it would be unbearable. Do you think it was fair your predecessor has been asked to stand down? Will that be difficult? I have two young children too and it's been hard work this year as acting HoD. My family suffered but my husband was really supportive. Am not sure if I want to go for it again....it's taken over my life. But, I have enjoyed lots of it and I have learned so much. Good luck whatever you decide.
  4. Thanks so much for the replies to my post! I feel slightly uncomfortable about what has happened to the previous HOD and not sure what our working relationship would be like if I took the role. There is the option to possibly agree but only on a temp basis but I am concerned about the pressure etc due to results. I still have a lot to think about but your feedback has been much appreciated
  5. becorleansky

    becorleansky New commenter

    I would weigh up/imagine how supportive your SLT would be if next year's results show no improvement. My department and the students could not have worked any harder and the iGCSE results have knocked my confidence and made me question whether I want to stay in teaching, let alone HOD! Do you want the job? Are you mentally resilient enough to bounce back from the knock backs like last Tuesday? If the answers are yes, then go for it but go into it with your eyes wide open? As for the working relationship, it depends whether the HOD wanted to step down. If he/she didn't want to then a) it will be difficult and b) if your SLT look for scapegoats, do you need that in your life. The job is difficult enough as it is.
  6. becorleansky

    becorleansky New commenter

    Sophosking - I appear to have echoed your comments almost word for word. It wasn't plagiarism; I promise. Just proves how we all feel the same. Onwards and Upwards, people!
  7. VeronicAmb

    VeronicAmb Occasional commenter

    I 100% understand the family situation, having 3 kids (18 months, 7 year old and 12 year old), being HoD (English) is the biggest challenge I've had these 5 years.

    One I can say is that, once you've built up your relationships with your dept. and SLT, it does get easier for sure! I've had my work cut out for me this year with the GCSE and A-level changes this year and my family have suffered for this. But my team and family have been super supportive. If I can't finish something or I need help, my subject leaders are always willing to take their role further and that's what you need. If your dept. is very supportive and forthcoming, I honestly think you'll be alright.

    Personally, my dept. results have been stable for a couple of years now that we all know what our role is in our dept. If you think you;ll be alone in your role, then I don't think it's a good idea until your comfortable with your home life and comfortable within your dept.

    There is a lot of scrutiny with the job. I am constantly under my SLT thumb in terms of making sure results and teaching is good-outstanding which is the biggest pressure, then you have yourself having to put pressure on your dept. If your dept is resilient as yourself, you'll be fine.

    One of the perks is that as HoD, you get to allocate teaching groups. I know that I won't give myself any KS3 because the marking is ridiculous so you can compensate that. I've also found that being HoD your teachign doesn't have to be amazing and you can get away with standard teaching as long as you get the grades. HoD more about management than your own teaching. If you're confident (rather than comfortable) with your teaching, you can place all your energy into managing your dept. It will become 10x harder if you're too heavily focused on your own teaching, x12 staff and the management of your dept.

    Good luck!
    install likes this.
  8. Ha ha! Yes...such similar experiences. I am feeling a little gloomy as we head towards the new term. I'm usually really positive!!
  9. jarndyce

    jarndyce Occasional commenter

    It really depends on how you feel the SLT will treat you. I would think carefully. I am quite disturbed that the current HoD has been "asked to step down" purely because of one bad lot of results. And so quickly as well! With no opportunity for the HoD to plead their case, analyse results by cohort/teaching group, investigate possible anomalies and any possible reasons for these results? And can they even do that with, what, 2 - 3 weeks notice?
  10. jago123

    jago123 Established commenter

    First of all, CONGRATULATIONS! The school recognises your hard-work and tenacity and feel that you can drive the department forward. If you step up to the role, you'll definitely have a load of challenges to contend with, but it will definitely be worth it! I would start off in September with a meeting for all of your team, both teaching and support staff and highlight your plans for succession with them. You want all your team members on board and to be productive so be supportive of them and they'll be supportive of you and your goals.

    In relation to the ultimate decision of whether or not to accept the role, it is totally your choice! Do you want to advance your career or stay where you are for a few more years? If your HT is asking you to step up now, they are clearly indicating that you are ready for it!
  11. install

    install Star commenter

    1 I would be concerned about the treatment of the outgoing Hod.
    2 I would be concerned to have to work with the outgoing Hod
    3 I would be concerned to have a promotion when results that I am accountable for are not so good -if this is the case....


    1 It may be that you can make a difference in the role of Hod
    2 It may be that you will be heard more than the previous Hod by slt
    3 It may be that you can lead and build a more effective team in the face of new Exam Specs
  12. pixiewixiepixie

    pixiewixiepixie Occasional commenter

    I wouldn't do it. Your young family is more important and you will be sweating blood and working all hours to impliment the necessary changes. And where is the failed HoD going, the one so publicly unsupported and demoted? Did they fail the students and school because they were rubbish or because they ran themselves ragged trying to do everything SLT asked of them, however dumb?

    That HoD will be you in 12 months. Can you handle a potential divorce and public humiliation? If the answer is yes, make very sure you ask for a massive pay rise to compensate, and don't except jam tomorrow promises of payment depending on results. You will need the extra money to fund divorce proceedings and to tide you over whilst finding a new position.
    install likes this.
  13. Star_Teacher

    Star_Teacher New commenter

    Anyone know how this story ended?

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