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Opportunities other than headship?

Discussion in 'Career clinic' started by Monika001, Jul 26, 2017.

  1. Monika001

    Monika001 New commenter


    Thanks for reading. I have been teaching for just under a decade. I've had wobbly moments but generally really enjoy working in education and get very good feedback from TAs, teachers, SLT and parents. People often ask if I will become a head teacher one day and I don't really know what to say because I'm not sure what progression opportunities there are outside of headship.

    Has anyone moved from a teaching/deputy head position to something other than head teacher? Can you tell me what your job is like and how you got into it? Or is it worth keeping headship in mind and looking at other opportunities after that?

    My interest really lies in behaviour management and I have a dream of becoming a free-lance educational consultant. I'd like to offer a variety of focussed 1:1 training over an extended period, and large group 1 or 2 day courses. I don't know how realistic that is or where to start. Do educational consultants exist? How much do they work? How do schools find and employ them?

    Thanks again for reading. Any advice or experience welcome as I feel a bit clueless at the moment!
  2. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    At one time there were hundreds of educational "consultants"

    Most of them were not very good.

    Stay in school where you can do some good
    kate04c, DYNAMO67 and cb324 like this.
  3. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Star commenter

    I tried similarly with Cover Supervision consultancy and training and fell foul of marketing problems.

    If you have a large list of contacts then you might manage to use those to get references and word of mouth working for you. Otherwise it's a right pain to get email addresses to send out what is effectively Spam and additionally what the schools' SLT should be doing anyway. Or can you afford to send out hundreds of letters, I couldn't?

    Also I suspect OFSTED barely care about behaviour management (certainly don't care about Cover) so why should a school fork out the scarce cash for something non-essential?

    Finally what can you charge? I was rather scuppered to discover that a 'respected' (not by me but by current heads) ex-Head would give a mini-OFSTED and address all staff for £600 a day in my region (W Yorks). So I was looking at £300 per day which isn't enough to give up the day job. And I only got one taker for that price (half-day actually).

    I started all this off by booking some time with my then HT and a deputy and running a feasibility study past them. Didn't do me any good in the long-run but that was despite their wise words. Suggest you go round as many SLT as you can and ask these questions. Also you might get a booking from it:)
  4. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    You've only been a teacher for ten years! Unless you were a career changer, you probably have another 30 years left to work. Don't rush upwards too quickly.

    Be a teacher as long as you can.
    Then middle leader.
    Then deputy, if that interests you.

    Then think about different schools, small village as opposed to large city; junior or infant as opposed to primary; private as opposed to state. Maybe a PRU or BESD school, as that interests you. Have a look at teacher training as an option. Perhaps education in other settings, such as museums. Consultants certainly can work for many, though not for all. Maybe retrain as an Ed Psych as a way to work with children/teachers struggling to manage behaviour.

    There are heaps of opportunities, but try to take time to enjoy every single step you make.
    DYNAMO67 likes this.
  5. Monika001

    Monika001 New commenter

    Thanks for the replies - always such a varied response when I post a question, which is great.

    Interesting - there is good to be done in many roles, surely. Who do head teachers/SENCOs seek advice from when they have a child with tricky behaviour? Surely it doesn't all come from 'in-house' experience?

    Thank you for all the information and prompts.How ridiculous that OFSTED don't care about behaviour - so fundamental to children achieving well!

    I've got no interest in rushing upwards too quickly and don't think I suggested that in my original post?

    I have recently changed role and specifically looked for and accepted a position in SLT where I still teach everyday because I enjoy it so much! I was looking for advice and guidance so thank you for the suggestions - I like the idea of teacher training (I imagine research would be a part of this role) and Ed Psych.
  6. carriecat10

    carriecat10 Established commenter Community helper

    I don't know what type of school setting you are in but you might find that being part of a larger group of schools such as a MAT, federation or teaching school alliance would allow you to develop a wider role without the need to look for promotion. This might apply to any subject or area of expertise. There are very different models here so it would be crucial to look into one that works for you.

    There are still advisers/consultants out there. It is hard to become established and develop relationships with schools who will need to pay for your time and advice. Advertising and contacting schools can be challenging. It can also be a lonely existence unless you become part of a team. How do you continue to develop yourself? How do you ensure that you keep up to date with current thinking etc?

    You might look at making connections with local ITT providers or opportunities to become an 'associate'. In my part of the world we make use of lead teachers in schools to provide peer to peer support in specialist areas. This model might be a good way to dip your toe in the water to see if this is a route you want to go down. It's hard to know until you try it after all.
  7. DYNAMO67

    DYNAMO67 Lead commenter

    Cover Supervisor consultancy?

    Why would anybody need to bring someone in to do this? Who possibly encouraged you that there was any possibility of this working?
  8. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Star commenter

    Actually I was the only encourager and I am easily very qualified to do the job, I've also written a book on how to do it.

    I won't bore you with the one side of A4 that I used for promoting myself but it boils down to " Do you want your Cover Supervisors to do a good job (and your SLT will probably be too busy or inexperienced to train them properly)?"

    Trouble is you're right as I only got one taker. That could be down to the financial climate rather than a flaw in the business plan though.
  9. DYNAMO67

    DYNAMO67 Lead commenter

    No offence. I have done the job myself. I dont for the life of me see any circumstance where outside help is needed what a teacher can't offer. Skills for being a good CS are not different from teaching. Behaviour managfment being the obvious.

    Cover supervisor is a role to save money. Consultants are never going to be bought in.
  10. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    We have quite a few senior and middle leaders who changed careers to work in teacher ed. Be aware it is a substantial pay cut and being a career change you have to have MA already and then do a PHD as well as publish. Don't think they are older close to retirement teachers though. The majority are in their 40s. Very fulfilling role and you have to provide peer scrutinised evidence that any of your 'interventions' are effective. We also provide free 'consultancy' to schools in the spirit of partnership. Gove hates us. Free and collaborative. Where is the profit in that?

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