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My head of department is a nightmare!

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by Georgia99, Mar 22, 2012.

  1. Georgia99

    Georgia99 New commenter

    I don't see my hod too often. It was about 2 weeks into my NQT role before I even spoke to her and that was me going to find her. She has provided no support in terms of behaviour, she didn't even teach me how to use any of the school systems e.g. the register system. Then she had the cheek to tell me off for not being able to perform a task on the register system grrr.
    I have my own budget but the business manager at the school decided that I cannot sign for my own budget and my hod must sign for anything I order or claim for. Never mind that the person whose maternity leave I am covering told me that she wanted me to have full control of her budget during my time at the school as it would be most of the year. Anything I have tried to order on the forms have been questioned by her even though it is not her budget, this includes stationary orders. She has refused to sign most of them and so I cannot obtain the resources I need, let alone any extra things I would like for teaching. I have about £700 left because of this but she won't let me spend my own budget!!
    The other day she told me off for wearing all black. She also told me off because she had walked past my classroom and there were books on the table during my free table which the students had left out as I had them again the next lesson. She told me off because of the filing system in the room which is nothing to do with me as it was already in place by the postholder.
    Oh dear this is just a whinge post really!! I am sure I am not alone and I hope to get through until my leaving date next month without screaming at her :)
     
  2. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    Do you have a mentor? You should have, as an NQT, go and talk to them. Take a list of all that you need urgently and proof the money is there and ask for their advice.

    In terms of behaviour and support for planning and the like, that is also your mentor's role rather than a HOD.

    If by sheer bad luck your HOD is also your mentor, then go to the lead mentor or HOF and ask for help. Seriously, if one person wont' help you then others definitely will.
     
  3. Dunteachin

    Dunteachin Star commenter

    Why on earth would she do that? Is there some sort of dress policy?
    She sounds awful.
     
  4. happydavid

    happydavid New commenter

    I really feel for you. Being told off over the most trivial of things certainly strikes a chord with me. My mentor used to have a go at me on the most nit-picking of details. At the time this contestant criticism was utterly withering and so unnecessary. Some people are totally unsuited to managing others, yet the so often get themselves into roles where they can make life very stressful. I only hope she doesn't adopt the other equally annoying trait of filling your "free time" with utterly pointless "make-work" tasks. I had that to put up with too.

    Hang in there. You are not alone!
     
  5. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    This seems pretty reasonable.
    It isn't her money and she has absolutely no say in whether the school allocates it to you or someone else. I wouldn't allow a NQT to have complete and unfettered control of a budget. Somebody experienced needs to have an overview of what is being spent and where.
    The above points aside, it does appear that your HoD is not particularly well disposed towards you. I would have a chat with whoever is in charge of NQTs and ask for your mentor to be changed from her, if it is her.
    If you are leaving next month, then I wonder if it is worth the effort?


     
  6. happydavid

    happydavid New commenter

    Karvol...really? The OP is a qualified professional, yet she is not to be trusted to allocate a budget of £700 as she thinks fit?

    Oh but I am forgetting...teachers are to be treated as children, and are not to be trusted with even trivial decisions.
     
  7. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    If the school wishes for her to spend the money as she sees fit then so be it. However it is not the remit of the previous teacher to allocate the money as it is not hers to allocate and the school doesn't seem to think it is a good idea either.
     
  8. happydavid

    happydavid New commenter

    It seems to be the way that schools don't want classroom teachers, however experienced they may be, to exercise judgement or discretion in any sphere that a "suit" sees fit to meddle in. The OP may be an NQT, but there is no reason why she should not be considered adult enough to spend a few hundred pounds on resources to support her teaching. I for one have seen how management waste money in schools, and it is highly unlikely the OP could do any worse. But Nanny knows best.
     
  9. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    Don't let your personal prejudices taint what has actually been done. A NQT, on a temporary placement, has been told that if they wish to use a budget for something they need to have it countersigned by the HoD. It is not denying her the right to spend the budget, just making sure it is spent sensibly.
    If you have a problem with "management" then that is something you need to deal with.
     
  10. Karvol
    Wow - I have never read so much pompus drival!
    1)
    An NQT really is a fully fledged grown-up as such I am sure that they can be trusted to know which resources are required.
    2)
    No where in the origninal post does it say that the HOD is in charge of the budget & the maternity leave person can request that the post holder have control of the budget.
    3) The HOD is verging on bullying & needs to tred very carefully. Personal comments are unacceptable. It seems as though she has issues that she (the HOD) needs to address.
    4) OP - request a meeting with your advisor/mentor & explain your issues. I am sure that it can be resolved - however, be preapared as there can be a back-lash.
    Good luck with it all
     
  11. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    Let me correct that for you, since we are being pompous.
    I never said that she wasn't. However it does seem that her school - who know rather more about her than we do - seem to have an issue here.
    Do you recall this bit?
    I have my own budget but the business manager at the school decided that
    I cannot sign for my own budget and my hod must sign for anything I
    order or claim for. Never mind that the person whose maternity leave I
    am covering told me that she wanted me to have full control of her
    budget during my time at the school as it would be most of the year.
    On point 3, I would like to refer you to:
    it does appear that your HoD is not particularly well disposed towards
    you. I would have a chat with whoever is in charge of NQTs and ask for
    your mentor to be changed from her, if it is her.
    This is what I wrote in my post. Did you miss it when you were going through your bout of righteous indignation?
    For what it is worth, I think the OP is in a bit of crappy situation. She is also leaving next month, so one wonders if it is worthwhile doing something about it. Either way, I wish her the best of luck in her next position.


     
  12. frustum

    frustum Lead commenter

    Whilst I agree with the first part of that, I can imagine plenty of ways in which the lack of a full year's experience may mean that it's worth somebody else checking things: just little things like knowing how many exercise books will be needed, and the rush on certain resources at certain times of year, or more experience in knowing which types of resource provide best value in the longer term.
    A colleague of mine moved to a HoD post, arriving in September to find that the budget had been spent, but they'd run out of exercise books and chalk (yes, this story is a bit dated). The previous person had perhaps checked stocks in April, but not realised that most students would need a new book that term, leaving none for the new intake.
    I'm not defending this HoD at all, just saying that the idea of somebody else checking spending is not in itself stupid.
     
  13. Crowbob

    Crowbob Established commenter

    Absolutely normal practice for expenditure to be authorised by line manager...
     
  14. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    I'm not an NQT and 14 of the 16 full time permanent staff at our school are not NQTs. However all of us need either KS leader or subject leader signatures for everything we order. I don't imagine this is the most annoying part of working with the HOD.
     
  15. Georgia99

    Georgia99 New commenter

    I can take on board that my finance orders need to be signed but to stop me ordering simple things like plastic wallets and biros?! That is more my issue. I would just like to add that the postholder who has control of the budget is also a NQT. Therefore this seems to be more against me as a temporary member of staff than as a NQT.
    I'd like to think I a grown up, I am 33, have a degree in Nursing and previously managed a hospital ward. Teaching is my second career, NQT's aren't all 21 year olds who have never worked before:)
    The postholder came in for her 'kit' day today and the stories she told me about the hod's treatment towards her made me think the hod probably likes me as I seem to have gotten off easy in comparison. She told me that she went home crying on several occasions. This has not happened to me yet unless I am just 'hard' from 12 years of nursing!!
     

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