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New Headteacher meeting staff ideas

Discussion in 'Primary' started by mrsshorty, Jul 13, 2011.

  1. mrsshorty

    mrsshorty New commenter

    A little harsh Middlemarch... you can be as sure as you like and have your own ideas but everyone is entiltled to ask for the opinion of others surely?
    Congratulations on headship.
    I think I would want a new head to be interested in what things I think worked well under the previous headship and what things didn't work so well. You will probably find trends in the responses from the staff.
    Also suggest your expectations.. such as changing the behaviour policy ( if needed) and ask their thoughts.
    Maybe have something prepared to start off your conversation about your background, the goals of your headship and where you see the school going so that all staff understand where you are coming from. From this encourage each member of staff to tell you about themselves- how long they have been teaching/in the particular school, ( or working as TA) where they see themselves heading in their careers etc. So you get a feel of the team you are leading.
    Discuss (individually or as a whole staff) the aims of the school and targets, areas to improve on from Ofsted for example and create the plan of action so to speak collectively.
    Just some ideas that I thought of.
    Others may be of more help! Good Luck


     
  2. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    It's a very hard job. If people ask 'What should I do?' about the easiest bits, such as meeting staff, it doesn't bode well for the really hard parts, IMO.
    I'm sorry if I appear harsh - but being a head demands quick thinking and the security of your own convictions.
     
  3. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    To be honest I would wait until maybe after October half term before meeting them. By then they will have got to know you and your ways a little bit and so might be a bit more comfortable being honest with you. In September they will be more guarded as they will only want to say what they think you want to hear, but will be unsure as to what that is.

    I would say that, if you can, have a decent gap between appointments to write any notes about what people have said that you want to. Then during the meetings you can just concentrate on listening and questioning.

    What you actually ask them and tell them will depend entirely on what you want to know. Possibly another reason to leave it a term or so.
     
  4. In current school i did do this in first week or so. Set out my vision on first INSET as had already shared with governors on interview date so felt that was appropriate to share with staff. Stated clearly wasnt intending changing lots of things in a rush as needed to see what was working etc (that i think depends a bit on state school you take on is in- have worked for new head who seemed to change everything and message to staff was that everythign we did was useless and needed change which clearly isnt true in any setting)
    In interviews i asked people to share bit about themselves eg their background in school etc what they felt went well what were the issues
    I agree people might not all have been totally honest but it did seem to set the theme of how i wanted to work ie in a collaborative way
     
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    All these ideas are very much appreciated – thank you.


    I think you miss the point of my question Middlemarch - I
    have very firm ideas as to exactly what I’d like to gain from meeting with each
    staff member, some of these things are specific items according to the staff role/responsibility
    and some will be general items for all staff. The point of my asking this
    question is to draw upon the experience of others.


    I think we can always learn from each other; being open to
    the ideas of others and accepting that your own opinion, however firm it is, is
    not the only opinion worth listening to is surely part of being an effective
    leader.


    D
     
  6. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    Don't you think it would have helped if you'd said 'Here's what I'm thinking of talking about in these meetings - any comments, additional or alternative ideas?'
    Otherwise, it looks like you don't know what you're talking about AND it invites people to waste their time by telling you what you had already decided to do but (for some reason) had decided to keep secret.
     
  7. I do appreciate your help, but no, I don't feel doing this would have been helpful - as you say, I am firm about the ideas I have and actually I don't need comment about these and I don't want them to cloud anyone else's input. There is so much experience within this forum and I am simply looking to learn from this experience and to listen to what you and others may have to offer.
     
  8. I'm not a head but have managed 100+ people teams in a former life. Whatever you say make sure you avoid any hint of criticism of the previous regime, even subtle messages like that can cause issues with loyal staff and get you off on a bad footing. Asking their opinion on what is working/not working is great but don't make it sound negative.
    Good luck!
     
  9. emilystrange

    emilystrange Star commenter

    don't do what one new temp head did on her first day and hold an icebreaker session. we'd all been working together for years and she was only staying for one term. total waste of time. she also spent ages doing 'vision for school' stuff which was also a waste of time, as we had new 'proper' head starting in the september - not to mention the fact that she ignored everything we said.
    just talk to them. be human. LISTEN.
     
  10. carriecat10

    carriecat10 Occasional commenter Community helper

    I remember being impressed by a new head who asked what skills we felt we had which hadn't been fully utilised and also about our own career plan.
    Nice to feel it is about the individuals as well as the whole school.
    I agree about keeping a positive spin on things rather than inviting criticism.
     
  11. Good luck with the Headship... and good luck with wishing you can do this.
    Our new Head who started in Sept said he would do the same. He didn't get to start them till nearly Christmas, and didn't even get to TA's till Easter.
    Focus more on an open door policy... so staff can come and speak to you if they have questions/ideas. I love the fact I can drop in on my Head at any point in the day as long as the door to his office is open.
    Biggest tip. Don't lie. You ARE going to change things. Don't say you won't. It means when/if you have to, people don't like it immediately even it's a really good change.

    [​IMG]

     
  12. Don't forget - you can't please all of the people all of the time, some staff will be resistant to change. Just be certain with your decisions - if you feel it is the right thing to do, do it.
    There is nothing worse than a head not making decisions because they don't want to upset anybody...respect goes downhill quickly.
     
  13. Thank you for your ideas so far....Bump...
     

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