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Discussion in 'Headteachers' started by libbyonehundred, Feb 3, 2020.

  1. libbyonehundred

    libbyonehundred New commenter

    Hi everyone, I am taking up post in my first headship after Easter. The thing that is playing on my mind most is what to do on the first day!! May sound silly but what did you all do on your first non pupil day?
    Many thanks in advance.
  2. Marshall

    Marshall Star commenter

    Is it an INSET day?

    If not then wander around the school, familiarise yourself with it as much as you can.

    Be on the playground morning and after school to meet the parents.

    Do an assembly. Do playground duty (as an extra). All to get your face known.

    You'll be surprised at what else crops up! Mainly tech issues re new passwords, etc.

    Spend time with your staff at lunch - briefly and then leave them to talk about you!!!
  3. Sundaytrekker

    Sundaytrekker Star commenter

    If it’s an inset day then talk to them about your values and what you hope for the school. Keep it positive. Ask them for good things about the school and one thing they would change. If you’ve got time, invite them to individual meetings with you to chat about this and about themselves and their role. That rather depends on the size of the school and how many staff there are!
    libbyonehundred likes this.
  4. hhhh

    hhhh Lead commenter

    Some heads do still teach-as one (recently retired) one said to me, he wanted to teach so why should he give up the best part of the job! You probably don't want to do it on your first day though, unless you're secondary and timetable yourself.
    libbyonehundred and Pomza like this.
  5. simonCOAL

    simonCOAL Occasional commenter

    Think back to any times you have had a new HT arriving. Did they do anything that irritated/ patronised you and your colleagues? Avoid these.

    Did they make a speech that was all about them, rather than their new place of employment? Don’t make the same mistake.
    @Marshall ’s advice is good. We’ve all been there!
    Start to build trust from the first minute.
    libbyonehundred and Pomza like this.
  6. abacus1982

    abacus1982 Established commenter

    In my first week I made myself available for 15 minute slots for people to come and speak to me if they wanted. To tell me what they love about the school, what they enjoy doing and what they would really like to do. They also spoke to me about family things so I knew immediately about the TA who has a teenage child who has appointments on a regular basis.

    I would also advise that you walk around school as much as possible. Make a little note of the things you don't like when you walk round. Do this in the first few weeks as that's when you have fresh eyes and are not bogged down by things. That way you can pick up the little things you want to then work on (just don't do them all at once!). This was great as I identified one of our group rooms was just a dumping ground for resources. It's now a group room used all day by children - I maybe wouldn't have had this on my radar two to three months in.
  7. thejudgesscoresarein

    thejudgesscoresarein Occasional commenter

    First of all, congratulations on your new role- I bet you are pleased! All the hard work you have done over the last few years have paid off but it doesn’t stop here!
    You don’t say if you’re being promoted in your same school? I remember my first day as HT quite well- 1st September 1997- it was the day after Princess Diana passed away. As I knew the staff I had a meeting with them to let them know my expectations and I knew the school too- so I knew what changes I wanted to make.

    As advice for an external HT though, as a non-pupil day- I would organise a full staff meeting to introduce yourself - potentially a team building exercise. You’ll probably meet with the governing body and also with your senior leadership team too.
    You will also be issued with laptop and your credentials for the school network.
    This day is really important for you to shine, and not only will you be looking for first impressions from your staff, they will be with you- they will want to know what their new HT will be like- you will no doubt be compared to your predecessor- but if this becomes an issue- just mention that they no longer work for the school and that you are moving the school forward into the future.
    I’m retiring myself in the summer term after 23 years as Headteacher- my successor was appointed in January and they will be joining the school after May Whitsun for a six week handover/ transition period.

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