I am a secondary Assistant Head - 13 years into my career, relatively young for SLT, but I have only worked in one school. The school has been good to me, and I to them - promoted to HOD after a year, HOY after 3, AST after 6 and Assistant Head after 8. Every time it has seemed like it is time to move on, I have been offered a job that i probably wouldn't get if applying externally due to lack of experience, so I have stayed. I know that I need to move on - and I really want to -but the one school is clearly going to hold me back in some cases. Everyone (i.e. current and past Heads, SIPs, LA) believe I should be going for Deputy Head posts (it's certainly what I want, but I doubted schools would want me on one school) and on my first application I was given an interview, survived a first day cut and made it to the last two. In feedback I was told that I had done nothing wrong - on the contrary, they felt my presentations and interviews had been of Headship standard and that there could be Headships out there for me. I think this is silly - I wouldn't employ me on one school, however good - although its a lovely compliment. Why was I turned down? The other candidate was 'more of a manager, whereas I was more of a leader' and I only had one school on my CV while he had 3 or 4. That said, the school was sure I'd get a post as a Dep Head soon. My question is, is it worth applying to schools for these posts if they specify 'two schools or more' in the person spec? Will I be rejected outright, and even if they still give me a go will I ultimately always fall to someone who has the extra school? Moreover, now that I have had a sniff of a Dep Head post - one I know I would have done really well - I'm going to find it hard to go for sideways moves, not least because in my current AH post I am basically doing a DH job. Do I hold out for the right DH job, which could leave me at my current school longer and add to my one school syndrome? Or do I grab an AH job for the sake of my long term CV? At what point will I become unmarketable if I hold out at my current school? So many questions... Any advice gratefully received.