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Path to Headship

Discussion in 'Career clinic' started by Siliaz, May 28, 2020.

  1. Siliaz

    Siliaz New commenter

    Hi, I wanted some advice on whether I should relinquish my position as Head of Department and apply for an internal vacancy that has come up-Director of Teaching and Learning post for the Faculty. The latter reports to the Asst Head for T & L while the former reports to the HoF.

    The DTL post would involve supporting the HoF and HoD in researching, developing and embedding evidence based approaches to increase attainment in the curriculum and SoLs. Planning and conducting related CPD for Faculty staff. It will also involve working with the other Faculty DTLs to deliver whole school CPD and support SLT in developing and monitoring of the school development plan.

    I wonder if the DTL post is effectively the old Advanced Skills Teacher route and while grander sounding and paying more with a TLR2c instead of TLR2b allowance, it is not the best route to future Headship. Should I perhaps stick to HoD, aim for HoF and then Asst Head and then Head instead?

    Would appreciate any advice. Thanks!!
  2. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    As your school have only just appointed you as HOD to start in September, I think you probably need to speak to them and see what they say.
    steely1 likes this.
  3. Siliaz

    Siliaz New commenter

    Yes that's what I'm going to do but I was wondering more generally what is the more "standard" route to Headship(if there's such a thing?). Is a whole school role preferable to a departmental role in terms of building up the skill set needed?
  4. steely1

    steely1 Occasional commenter

    Most of the Headteachers I've worked with have moved up the ranks over a career spanning the years, e.g. teacher > Head of Department > Head of Sixth Form / Upper School / Lower School, or Director of Studies / Assistant Head > Deputy Head > Head.

    On paper, yes, a role with a whole-school responsibility would inevitably be of advantage in terms of any movement into SLT and Headship, but personally, I'd build up experience as a good HoD first before thinking of the next step up. I don't know what your subject is, but I imagine there is still scope for you to make some kind of in-roads with whole-school experience, even as a HoD, e.g. cross-curricular links.

    In my humble opinion, and from my own experience, the better Heads I've worked for have been those with experience at different levels under their belts. Not that I want to knock your ambition or anything - or offend any senior leaders / Heads who have been fast-tracked. I'm sure that they can be equally brilliant and effective.

    And it may well be that the school that has just appointed you HoD gives you the opportunity to progress immediately to the more senior role you mention.
    VeronicAmb and Siliaz like this.
  5. thejudgesscoresarein

    thejudgesscoresarein Occasional commenter

    That DTL role seems to me as a ‘support role’ to the HoD- I don’t think it is much of a progression route as such. If it was me, I would continue in the HoD role for another year or so, then consider HoF/ Assistant Head opportunities. It’s all about experience and in my 38 years in the sector, I’ve seen so many teachers eager to progress, they’ve got their first headship before they are 30 and have ended up leaving the profession a couple of years later.
    Get as much experience as you can first before trying to conquer the next role, less than a year (not even 6 months) taking into account, school has been closed since March- is insufficient time to consider a promotion when you haven’t even had your first year results as a HoD yet.
  6. Siliaz

    Siliaz New commenter

    Thank you @steely1 and @thejudgesscoresarein. Really appreciate the advice. I'm going to stick to HoD. The background is that I had gone from teacher to HoF of a small faculty in a ~350 student school, i.e. 4 departments of 1.5 staff each and 1 technician. I then decided that I wanted to focus on leading just my specialist subject in a much bigger school. This led me to make a parallel move to being HoD in my current 1400 student school. There are loads I would still like to do for my department so I was torn between wanting to complete what I wanted to do and the DTL post which gives me wider school exposure but your comments have helped to confirm that I shouldn't worry about passing up the DTL role for now.
  7. DYNAMO67

    DYNAMO67 Lead commenter

    No no no.

    Just calm down a while. You’ve accepted a job. You’ve already had a dilemma about quitting that!

    Your energy ought to be going into planning to do this job. Not headships or side wards steps to facilitate it.
    steely1 and Siliaz like this.

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