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Should Headteachers teach ?

Discussion in 'Education news' started by Happygopolitely, Jul 16, 2019.

  1. Alldone

    Alldone Senior commenter

    In the private school I taught at all the Head Teachers taught. So did all the SLT. The Ht also insisted that he taught his share of bottom sets. I taught all the children of the 3 HTs that were there before I retired. This Summer I will be going to the USA to the wedding of one of the HT's sons. I think I was so fortunate to spend my career in a school like this.
  2. afterdark

    afterdark Lead commenter

    Seeing as you ask...

    The first link that I find via google is from the house of commons library entitled Teachers' pay statistics. It is dated 2008.


    notice that there are not seperate tables for headteachers.

    Quote "

    The enclosed Table 1.1 gives the average salary for qualified nursery/primary and secondary teachers in the maintained sector in England and Wales since 1974. This covers all qualified teachers, from classroom teachers to head teachers.

    " Unquote.

    Did you ask because you genuinely did not realise this? Are you too young to remember 2008 or something?
    Or was it challenged because it was a criticism of the government?
    agathamorse and Happygopolitely like this.
  3. Jolly_Roger15

    Jolly_Roger15 Star commenter

    I have only been in one school in which the Head did any teaching, and as @Skeoch said, it was pretty disastrous. This Head made all the right noises about 'keeping in contact with practical teaching' and insisted on being allocated some science teaching (he was a biologist.) As his other duties lead to him seldom turning up for his lessons, this put more work on us, as we had to cover for him. He also undermined the HoD by taking the lead in the few departmental meetings he attended.
    Happygopolitely likes this.
  4. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    Why on earth did you search back to find an 11 year old document when you could have looked at the current year data here. That is published exactly as I said it is - you'll find the Tables I quoted in the spreadsheet 'Main tables: school workforce census 2018'.


    My question was: you claim "The title Headteacher persists partly because it helps governments lie about average teacher salaries", I ask "When have they done that?", Your answer is? An 11 year old paper is not the answer! Because it isn't a lie, is it? It's correctly labelled to say it isn't the average salary of classroom teachers because it also includes the salaries of non-classroom teachers. In any case if you'd read one page further in your document you'd have found the salary breakdown between heads, deputies and classroom teacher as it was in 2008. So no lies there then.
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2019
    Happygopolitely likes this.
  5. afterdark

    afterdark Lead commenter

    Yes it is. Headteacher is generally a misnomer. In my experience most HT do not teach.

    Outliers have a disproportionate effect on averages.

    I didn't search for an 11 year old document.

    You did ask (when).

    It matters because it leads to this

    DFE school funding claims face watchdog investigation

    And this

    The government has been defending its claim that the average teacher in England and Wales earns £34,000, which prompted complaints from strikers last week.

    "Sceptics argued that with the maximum salary for a classroom teacher being £34,281, the average could not possibly be so high."

    But it is ok because elsewhere the average is qualified somewhere else?

    It is rather like the misrepresentation of more money being "spent on education" when in fact huge amounts are going to PFI and obscene MAT leader salaries.
  6. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    That is demonstrably untrue as anyone bothering to look in STPCD can see for themselves. Maximum salary for a classroom teacher without a TLR is nearly £40k outside London and over £48k in London, higher for teachers with a TLR. (I do wonder if you actually read the stuff you link to, the DfE -vs- strikers argument that you say was "last week" is from a BBC news item in April 2008).

    And the national median average this year from the workforce census for all classroom teachers, is £36,829. Schools submit annually the details of every teacher they employ with their role and salary, that's how it is calculated. Or are you saying the DfE salary census data is faked?

    Campaigns for higher teacher pay, which I'm sure you support as much as I do, are undermined by misusing statistics and making false allegations.
    Happygopolitely likes this.
  7. mathymc

    mathymc New commenter

    I have worked at four schools, and have worked for four heads who have all taught.
    All were good at it, too.
    Happygopolitely and agathamorse like this.
  8. afterdark

    afterdark Lead commenter

    I have a long memory and you seem obsessed about only this years figures. Who is misusing statistics and making false allegations that undermine the campaigns for higher teacher pay?
    Happygopolitely likes this.
  9. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    Just asking you to justify your statement that ""The title Headteacher persists partly because it helps governments lie about average teacher salaries" by pointing to one lie the government has published about average teacher salaries. That's all, nothing else, just one example of a lie, the government stating a figure they know to be false. You obviously can't or won't so there's no point in further discussion. Statistics which are labelled clearly as including every teacher including leadership posts as well as classroom teachers are not a lie.
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2019
    Happygopolitely likes this.
  10. afterdark

    afterdark Lead commenter

    Is this the usual Tory argument of the government wasn't telling fibs about that particular thing so they don't have to admit misleading the public about other things?

    At HEPI Towers, we’ve been discussing the latest spat between the UK Statistics Authority and the Department for Education about education spending. In a new exchange of letters, the Department has largely backed down.

    But I remain more sympathetic to their original position than, it seems, most people are.

    The Department was accused by headteachers who marched on Westminster of cutting public spending on each school pupil. The hard evidence for this comes from the think-tankers think tank, the Institute for Fiscal Studies. ...


    The Statistics Authority versus the DfE: Round X
    11 October 2018

    By Nick Hillman


    There are quite few letters in the links.


    But hey it ok because it was only manipulating the figures not blatently telling lies?
    Happygopolitely likes this.
  11. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide


    Happygopolitely likes this.
  12. afterdark

    afterdark Lead commenter

    Perhaps I should start a thread about lies politicians get caught telling.
    Happygopolitely likes this.
  13. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    Good idea. Start with the one where they lied about what the average teacher salary is. :)
    Happygopolitely and simonCOAL like this.
  14. Stiltskin

    Stiltskin Star commenter

    They used to be referred to as headmaster or headmistress with HT being the group name. It is only fairly recently that the more gender-neutral headteacher is used to refer to them individually.

    Most are qualified teachers and teaching doesn't have to just include classroom teaching, so the title is probably justified.

    that said I think it is good for DHTs, AHTs and HTs to spend some time teaching in the classroom.
    Happygopolitely likes this.
  15. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    Yes, although weren't teachers called school masters and school mistresses back then as well, so the headmaster or headmistress usage was logical?
    Happygopolitely and simonCOAL like this.
  16. HelenREMfan

    HelenREMfan Star commenter

    Taught GCSE PE have you ??
    Happygopolitely and simonCOAL like this.
  17. HelenREMfan

    HelenREMfan Star commenter


    I cannot help it......if your subject is Geography then I say... a kid only has to be able to read to pass GCSE Geog at 4+ level !!
  18. simonCOAL

    simonCOAL Occasional commenter

    I doubt it, but it doesn’t stop the usual sweeping generalisations that are normal on here these days.

    I’ve almost given up trying to post balanced comments. This thread sums up what a waste of time it is. Full of inaccuracies and very unfair.

    Well, that’s me done for a few months. I’ll let the dust settle.
    Happygopolitely and Rott Weiler like this.
  19. TheOracleAtDelphi

    TheOracleAtDelphi Established commenter

    When I was at secondary school, the headmaster (I'm old you see ;-) ) always insisted that he taught - he taught my friends when they were in year 8, so it wasn't like he was only teaching set 1 GCSE or A level either. As far as I'm aware he was a good teacher. When I was at primary, the head used to cover when our teacher went to play the piano for singing - or later for PPA or it's forerunner (when was PPA introduced?). One of his favourite activities for entertaining us was dictionary races, which would probably not be approved of by any lurking Ofsted inspector but did at least ensure that everybody ended up reasonably competent at finding words in a dictionary.
    I do wonder whether it is less practical for heads to teach nowadays, at least on a regular basis because there are so many other demands on their time and some things can crop up with no warning and need dealing with immediately. I suspect this is probably particularly challenging in primaries when the head is the safeguarding lead. Although even at secondary that can be an issue but there just tends to be more people around who can help out e.g. covering the deputy's class for 20mins while they take an urgent safeguarding call.
    I don't know how on earth teaching headteachers in two class schools manage, although in my neck of the words, many of the smaller schools have formed federations or other arrangements where a non-teaching (or very limited teaching) head is shared between the schools. Probably because it is unsustainable otherwise. Especially if they are the sendco too.
  20. CarrieV

    CarrieV Lead commenter

    I try to teach-cover if nothing else. But there are always a series of interruptions-problems that need sorting, incoming phone calls that need answering, behaviour issues need rdealing with, safeguarding issues that need resolving, TAC meetings that crop up with increasing frequency. I love to teach, I certainly miss it. But it's not always fair on the pupils I'm trying to teach!
    becky70 and Happygopolitely like this.

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