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Stepping Down from HoD

Discussion in 'Heads of department' started by cork227, Apr 23, 2018.

  1. cork227

    cork227 New commenter

    Just looking for advice, I've been HoD for just over three years but have decided it's no longer for me and I would be happier being a classroom teacher again. I'm considering applying for jobs in other schools as a teacher. How will this look in applications? Will schools be reluctant to hire someone who's stepping down from HoD (worried I might be seen as either not up to HoD job or as someone who lacks ambition/looking for an easy ride, which isn't the case). Would be grateful for any advice.
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2018
    JL48 and barca fc like this.
  2. tb9605

    tb9605 Established commenter

    A former HoD of mine (my NQT mentor in fact) is now a normal classroom teacher again at a different school, having been an Assistant Principal in the intervening years - so it's clearly possible.

    If I was looking for a new member of my department (which I'm not) and a CV came in from a current or former HoD I'd definitely want to short-list them for interview.... but maybe that's just me.

    Good luck.
    JL48 and barca fc like this.
  3. strawbs

    strawbs Established commenter

    several in my school - SLT to HoD, HoD to classteacher etc. Just perhaps make it clear in application/interview reasons why, without being too negative about the role.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  4. schmedz

    schmedz Occasional commenter

    One of my colleagues moved to classroom teaching after having been a successful Head - she simply missed being in the classroom and teaching the children too much to continue in an admin role.

    Expressing the positive reasons for changing in your application will show your competence! It always astonishes me that so many consider career 'progression' in teaching to be moving into roles where you actually have less to do with the children and more to do with running a business!!
  5. Mrs Grumpy

    Mrs Grumpy New commenter

    Agree with Schmedz - face the situation head on, explain - in a positive way - why you want a different role.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  6. shafaqat70_sa

    shafaqat70_sa New commenter

    Just be honest in the application, work life balance, enjoy teaching etc. Do not be too negative about your current school
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  7. LoopyLew

    LoopyLew New commenter

    I actually "stepped down" and stayed at my current school... it was a bit unsure for a while, as they said it could only happen IF they could recruit a new HOD from existing staff... which they luckily did. I stepped down due to getting cancer and I was unsure of my future, BUT I did know I couldn't deal with THAT and give my best at school. As it turned out I was ill quite a lot on and off for three years and it ended in a hysterectomy... which has worked! I think if you have valid (not too negative) reasons, it's actually quite a popular thing to do... certainly prevents (er... delays) burnout! Good luck.
    roman_eagle and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  8. jarndyce

    jarndyce Occasional commenter

    Been there, done that. At the interview, the Head mentioned the reasons I gave for stepping down as a HoD only to say that she could certainly see my reasons and was grateful for my honesty and self-reflection.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  9. strugglingHoD

    strugglingHoD New commenter

    sometimes its maybe not the job, but the situation. I'm in the same boat, and i'm thinking that joining a school as a class teacher then building up to HoD gives you the time to settle in, make the contacts, understand the school and then look at what is required for HoD.

    I walked in cold to this job and had to lay down some stuff quickly to fix the problems, wasn't easy but took 3 years. i'm tired now and looking to go back to class teacher because i can't keep up the 60/70 hour weeks(empowering staff is my challenge). I figure by finding a school i want and working up from class teacher, i can build up the relationships in the school before moving up.
    576 likes this.
  10. strugglingHoD

    strugglingHoD New commenter

    having said what i said, went for an interview today and i'm just too expensive!(everything was very good, but went for a different direction)

    trying to fall back into a class teacher role in another school is tricky, but i'm hopeful....
    agathamorse likes this.
  11. veritasescu

    veritasescu New commenter

    you will find that job but will have to keep looking. Independent schools hire more experienced staff but I'm not sure if that is your think...
  12. averagedan

    averagedan Occasional commenter

    Depends on what the school is looking for, I've known of/been in situations where we've had several NQTs in our science department and deliberately went looking for some experienced staff and employed an Ex-HoD.

    It also depends on your subject - right now if you're a physics, maths or chemistry teacher you can walk into a job if you show even vague signs of life!
    BlackCountryLass likes this.
  13. Curae

    Curae Star commenter

    Has happened to quite a few teachers I know and is not a problem. Having more contact time with children and being in the class are always positives as is maintaining your own work life balanced. As others have said just be positive ..just think of what you could add to the class as an experienced teachers and ex HOF.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  14. Curae

    Curae Star commenter

    sorry OLD THREAD :oops:
  15. Chazette

    Chazette New commenter

    I know its an old thread but I did this after only a year as Head of Maths. I realised that I wasn't doing a good enough job, didnt have the support from above and below me to do a better job, and if I was honest, I didn't want to continue. Getting an interview was no issue at all and when asked at interview why I was stepping away I was honest about my reasons and my learning curve this year.

    As it is, I've landed on my feet and am steppng into a T&L role rather than a standard classroom teacher, but defo worth switching if not happy!
    strawbs likes this.
  16. 576

    576 Established commenter

    I've known people do it within a school and also when moving schools.

    The other week we interviewed an ex-his for a class teacher job and had no concerns about that.
  17. SCAW12

    SCAW12 Occasional commenter

    I think the danger is you step down but still somehow manage to continue the work you were doing before. This has happened to a colleague of mine this year as he finds it difficult to draw the line.

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