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Stepping down from HOD

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by Science-pop, Sep 5, 2015.

  1. Hi,

    Where to start.....I initially joined my current school ( over 5 years ago) as a second in department, I undertook this role successfully for two years to then be offered the HOD post.

    The problem is SLT, in my opinion they are corrupt, my line manager the deputy head is a bully, I am undermined publicly on a weekly basis, even though results have improved and the department has moved forwards leaps and bounds in the time I have been HOD.It leaves me feeling deflated and exhausted, not to mention incredibly upset.

    One of the other issues is that I have to nag to be observed by my line manager the deputy head, she forgets, doesn't turn up, changes dates last minute this leaves me in a constant whirlwind! I can not progress financially without her observations. Other SLT are too scared of her to come an observe me and/or give the truthful grading...which matters greatly to pay progression. I fear that what I have seen is getting worse year on year, where as the school tightens it's belt financially this directly impacts on the grading given for lesson observations...ie less overall "goods" and above so less staff moving up the scale.

    The main thing is that I only feel "free" and happy when I am in the classroom teaching, this is me and I regret taking the promotions I have had. I am a teacher who loves to teach, I have good results and excellent relationships with pupils...this is where I make the most difference and where my heart really is, not managing 20 ( some difficult) staff, completing endless paperwork tasks last minute, tick box exercises or being part of the political and tactical games that are played by SLT.

    Can anyone offer me any advice....can I step down to a teacher role?, I was employed as a second in department. The sad truth is there is NO one internally that would want my post, not one person, so an internal "swap" couldn't happen.

    Thank You
  2. jago123

    jago123 Established commenter

    Why didn't you raise your concerns earlier in the year? It's the first week in September, there is pretty much no chance a new HOD can be recruited quickly because it is a specialist role, the chances are the most suitably qualified candidates will have already taken on a new role for this term. Your school can advertise the position, but you've also got to think, does their budget allow them to employ an extra teacher? You aren't leaving, as you say, which will mean a stretch in the payroll budgets if they employ a new HOD.
  3. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    If there were somebody else willing and able to take on the HoD role, then you would have a chance, but you seem convinced that this is not the case. Otherwise, it is not relevant that you didn't start as HoD - your contract changed when you accepted that role. I suggest that you discuss it with the Head - at least they could try to recuit an HoD next time there is a suitable vacancy.
  4. DYNAMO67

    DYNAMO67 Lead commenter

    To me it seems that you have three options open to you. Some more realistic than others.

    1) You wait for a vacancy to arise in your department. At that point you speak to the head about taking the teaching vacancy. They then look to appoint another HoD. If this happens you could be able to move down. With a department so big chances are that there may be some movement annually to allow you to do this,

    2) You speak to the head about your line management concerns and look for a change of line manager. If results are like you say, then they may do this rather than risk losing you.

    3) You look elsewhere for a HoD or 2nd in department role. I think this may be your best option.
  5. Morninglover

    Morninglover Star commenter


    But being realistic, you may have to accept a temporary (or fixed term) contract frst...
  6. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    I agree with dynamo and folkfan.

    You sound like an excellent member of staff.
  7. Happyregardless

    Happyregardless Occasional commenter

    "The main thing is that I only feel "free" and happy when I am in the classroom teaching, "

    Another reminder as to why I am a supply teacher, regardless of perceived risks and limitations - I feel exactly the same.
  8. Hi jago123,

    He has known about the issues relating to line manager for 6 months and refuses to do anything. I had a meeting in July and mentioned how I wasn't happy...he listened but wouldn't change anything. I thought the summer would give me time to feel better about the "situation" but it really hasn't at all. The head teacher and my line manager the dupery are now going to great lengths to avoid me....maybe it's paranoia!!! So maybe they know it's on the cards...me wanting to step down.Thank you for your feedback its really appreciated.
  9. Thank you everyone for your feedback, it's really appreciated....it's kind of nice to feel part of a community where you can come for advice. I think I need to bite the bullet and have a discussion with the head ( one where he doesn't steer the conversation away from things he doesn't want to talk about!). I have learnt today that someone maybe leaving next year... So I will propose the idea of me taking their teacher role allowing the school to advertise for a new HOD. Pepper5 and everyone else thank you for your kind words. I think teachers are that used to taking a bashing it really dents our confidence at times. Thank you all.
  10. jago123

    jago123 Established commenter

    In that instance then science-pop, I would request a formal meeting with the HT and take a trusted colleague with you. Tell them how you feel and that you want to 'step-down' to a standard class teacher role. Do you know anyone who in the department, in your view, is capable of 'stepping up' to the role for an interim period whilst a permanent appointment is made? The reason why I say this, it will be more timely for you and your benefit and it also benefits the proposed teacher to actually step up as a HOD and will of course support their career.

    Speak to the HT first, they are the one who make the ultimate decisions.
  11. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter


    I don't thinknyour school will want to lose you, but maybe in due course when the dust has settled, you may want to a find a school where you don't feel bullied.

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