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SMT overseas applying for SMT UK

Discussion in 'Senior Leadership Team' started by kundry1, Nov 19, 2011.

  1. I left the UK 5-6 years ago. I was a class teacher without any post of responsibility (besides music coordinator) at that time. Since then I have been on the SMT of two British international schools -- Primary Curriculum Coordinator and Head of Juniors.
    I am considering moving back to the UK, and would ideally want to apply for management positions. If I were to stay international, I would want to apply for DHT positions. Can anyone give me some advice about reentering UK teaching at a senior level?
  2. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    You're going to have to demonstrate in your application first of all, in order to get the chance to present yourself at interview - that you offer the school the kind of experience, skills and qualities it requires in a deputy head.
    You need to begin, I think, by getting a number of deputy head job descriptions and analysing what the job entails. Then, you need to try to match your skills, qualities and experiences to the range of deputy head tasks and responsibilities, ensuring you can illustrate each point with real examples from your work experience.
    What is crucial, however, is that you are able to demonstrate that the experience you've had in these international schools has made you a very good candidate to be a deputy head in a state school (I'm assuming you mean to apply to state schools) in the UK - because a lot of heads and governing bodies will start from the premise that it has not.
    Finally, ensure you understand fully what being the deputy head means - it means that from day 1 in post, you must take over as headteacher if the head falls under the metaphorical bus. Ensure you're ready to do this - and that you understand what being the head of a state primary in the UK means in every sense.
  3. Thanks for the advice. Yes, I would be applying for state schools. I am thinking of applying next year. Are there any courses that you know of that might get me up to speed?
  4. anon2799

    anon2799 New commenter

    I'm sorry but as a primary head I would not consider an application from you for DHT position without recent and relevant experience of leadership in a uk schools. 5-6 years is a lifetime ago in terms of uk teaching- you will need to get yourself up to speed with all the most recent changes and initiatives. You might try your hand applying for a tlr but even then you will be up against stiff competition from people with relevant and recent uk experience.
    It's become a bit of a running joke about the HT going under a bus on day one (although some days I could throw myself under one!) but you really do need to consider how you would cope should this happen.
    You might get the Ofsted call, you'll have to deal with staffing and safeguarding issues, you'll need to manage the budget, liaise with governors, partner agencies, submit funding bids, put things out to tender, support inderperforming staff, analyse raise online data, write the sef... I would guess that you don't have much or any experience of some of these things.
    That's before we consider classroom practice, a whole new curriculum, afl, app, ecar, ecat, ecaw, ecc, plus endless other new initiatives. How will you lead and support staff with these if you've no experience of them yourself.
    If I were you I'd be looking at a class teacher role for a couple of years to get back into uk teaching, then a tlr, and then if you feel you're ready to lead and run a whole school, aht or DHT. I think you need some uk leadership experience under your belt first.
  5. Thanks for the advice. I do have experience of most of the things that you mention, but not all. I take your point about starting back as a class teacher but would probably feel some frustration with that having led a 3 form entry school overseas. On the other hand, it would probably be the best preparation for UK school leadership...

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