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Single person Departments?

Discussion in 'Headteachers' started by normas_glasses, Sep 16, 2015.

  1. My school has a faculty structure with several subjects sitting within each. It's a small school, so many of the subjects have only 1 teacher in them.

    It's a nonsense to have individual departments, as who ensures consistency, quality of teaching and learning, and outcomes for a department of 1?

    So, who has responsibility for the curriculum, ensuring appropriate planning is in place, regularly reviewed and fit for purpose? The Faculty Head can ensure it's there but without specific subject knowledge, can't produce the planning themselves to the standard I expect.

    Is it reasonable to demand that the 1 person departments produce their own schemes, as part of the teachers' responsibility to plan effectively? If so, how can that be fair when a teacher in a large department doesn't have the responsibility to produce schemes of learning?

    "Give each single person department a small TLR!" This can mount up when you have a lot of subjects and, as we know, budgets are getting tighter...

    How do other colleagues structure their leadership to tackle these issues?

    All suggestions appreciated!!
  2. DaisysLot

    DaisysLot Senior commenter

    I'd give this another look….

    Typically a Head of faculty post comes with an 4-8K TLR attached…. and presumably you'd need a few 'faculties'… and as you point out there are flaws with one person trying to govern subjects they are not specialists in themselves, having divided time priorities etc. How many subjects can there be?? - Say it's ten - well 10 x the smallest TLR of £1200 attached to subject leader/ HoD posts suddenly doesn't look like such a bad deal all round.
  3. chriszwinter1

    chriszwinter1 New commenter

    How is a TLR payable?
  4. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    Producing a scheme of work has been part of the sole teacher of a subject for a very long time; moreover, it's not worth a TLR.
  5. sabrinakat

    sabrinakat Star commenter

    I am the sole teacher of my subject and wrote my own SOW. I am also responsible for making sure we have all the necessary textbooks, etc. I do get a management point but that is about 1k , but I am not management. TBH, I wanted to put my spin on the existing SOW at GCSE and KS5 as I have chosen different texts than the previous teacher (I teach Classics) - I have checked mine against the old SOW and they are consistent with the school structure/style.
  6. chriszwinter1

    chriszwinter1 New commenter

    What is a management point?
  7. sabrinakat

    sabrinakat Star commenter

    It means an extra 1K on the school's pay scale (it's an independent school). I think, if I compare to MS/UPS structure; it's an M4 with an extra IK but not a TLR. I have sole responsibility for my subject, but have an HOD who I report to, so not management but have responsibility for SOW, creating resources, ordering books, a budget for materials, etc.

    I think it may be more common in my subject that Classics could be a single person department. I have worked at three schools - the first was a single person within MFL (although two others contribued an hour or two within the subject); in my second, there were three doing Classics, and in my current, I am again a stand alone subject. In applying for jobs last year, I saw a mix of single person and larger (2+) departments. At one or two interviews, there were departments of 5+ teaching Classics! In the stand alone ones, though, it is easier for the Classics teacher to write the SOW, etc., as their HOD wouldn't necessarily be familiar with the texts, exams, etc as their specialisation was within MFL.

    regards, SK
  8. chriszwinter1

    chriszwinter1 New commenter

    Thanks for the clarification. The reason for my question is that TLRs are a feature of the STPCD and replaced management allowances in the second half of the last decade.
  9. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    @Siegen: Indy schools are notoriously behind the times!

    @sabrinakat: do remember that you have very limited experience of UK teaching, so what you post may not always be very relevant.

    Best wishes


    Meet Theo on line on the TES JobSeekers Forum, where she answers jobseeking and careers queries regularly each week.
  10. sabrinakat

    sabrinakat Star commenter

    And sometimes my limited experience can be relevant, eg. the OP asked about single person departments, which I do have direct involvement in; furthermore, I clarified same in both posts as related to my subject and my experience - the OP can of course disregard as they like.

    Best wishes
  11. CWadd

    CWadd Star commenter

    Reading between the lines of the original post, the question seemed to be asking about single person departments in State schools, not Independents.
  12. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    Yes...but the thing about the Headteachers forum is that people post queries on here for the attention of HEADTEACHERS. One's own, personal experience in an independent school is neither here nor there - OPs on here are looking for a range of responses from headteachers which might then form the basis of a reasonable inference.

    Sometimes, 'stuff about me' is just...stuff about you.
  13. DaisysLot

    DaisysLot Senior commenter

    Wooooah…. Bit astonished to see this exchange! Folk clearly missing 'opinion' where being foul to each other was taken as the general rule of conduct perhaps?… :rolleyes:
  14. emerald52

    emerald52 Star commenter

    That's more like it! Ding Dong!
  15. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    I believe you'll find that my first post offered an opinion relevant to the OP's thread; moreover, since I do still work within education, I imagine I know more about it than most, and certainly more than you - whoever you are. But since you appear to have set yourself up as the forum police officer, perhaps you'll explain your credentials for THAT particular role?
  16. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    I guess that on this forum, posters in general are looking for advice and support from school leaders (senior and middle) who have knowledge, understanding and wisdom gained from successful professional experience. It's not quite like the lifestyle forums where personal anecdotes, always so interesting and revealing, fit in perhaps better.

    There's also a danger that on this professional advice forum, personal anecdotes, rather than knowledge, understanding and wisdom, may muddy the waters (Management point? Why hasn't my school given me a management point?!) rather than clarifying an issue.

    I don't think that retirement from Headship whilst moving into associated areas of education will in any way diminish knowledge, understanding and wisdom. It certainly hasn't in MM's case, as large numbers of posters will agree.

    And at the risk of myself being accused of moving from the professional to the personal, may I congratulate @sabrinakat on recently completing her NQT year? You must be pleased that that is now behind you!


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