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SLT...how soon is too soon?

Discussion in 'Career clinic' started by fluffysparkles, Dec 4, 2015.

  1. fluffysparkles

    fluffysparkles New commenter

    Firstly, ignore my ridiculous TES name... anonymity at any cost I suppose!

    Could the more experienced give a rough indication of the time they would expect a teacher to have been qualified before applying for SLT positions e.g. Assistant Head? How soon would seem too soon to the headteacher? (A subjective notion I know but I would just like a general idea!)

    Many thanks in advance.
  2. CWadd

    CWadd Star commenter

    It depends on the individual. The only advice I will give is don't try to run before you can walk. If you have experience - HoD/2ic/HoF - 0r DHoY/HoY - you could make the next step. It all depends on where you are.
  3. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    To be a member of SLT, where you would be developing and achieving the vision for the school; appointing, inducting, mentoring, guiding, observing, supporting and leading colleagues; reviewing and developing the curriculum; ensuring pastoral structures, H&S, etc; participating in the drawing up and management of budgets; communicating and cooperating with outside agencies; building relationships with parents and with other schools; a hundred other things . . . you will need wisdom, understanding, knowledge of a myriad of rules, regulations and laws, and soft and hard skills for working sensitively and effectively with pupils, colleagues, parents and others.

    You don't think that all that comes fast, and you are right.

    Don't rush it, pace yourself. If you get to DHT at 30, what is your career path until retirement at 68?

    Best wishes

  4. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    I really, really hate it when people ask 'How quickly can I get to headship?', as if getting there fast is some sort of good thing in itself. We've even had threads in which people show off about how young they were when they got their deputy headship (I only wish I could correlate the same people with how long they lasted if they reached headship).

    It's not a race. Headship is the most vulnerable job in education - one mistake can end your career (and guess what? It tends to be lack of experience that leads to mistakes) - and also the hardest and loneliest.

    Read Theo's comments and ponder on them daily.
  5. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    Just to add:

    1. When you're a superb classroom teacher, with several years of brilliant results under your belt, apply to the next level (second in Dept, for example, in a secondary or a TLR holder for curriculum in primary).

    2. When you've held that post with distinction - i.e. got brilliant things to show for it AND have continued to get brilliant results for your class(es), apply to the next level.

    3. Do you see where I'm going with this?
  6. Skeoch

    Skeoch Star commenter

    It took me 26 years to get to SLT. I'm still not sure I was ready for it then, despite having had a range of middle-management roles in the meantime.
    midnight_angel likes this.
  7. HelenREMfan

    HelenREMfan Star commenter

    In my current cynicism I would have thought it would take a few years to find a good HT or SMT to learn from! In my 26 years I worked for 1 good HT (imo) 1 passable and the less said about the others the better.

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