1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded education professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

Subject lead with No TLR or support

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by Zoeart85, Sep 17, 2019.

  1. Zoeart85

    Zoeart85 New commenter


    I'm looking for a bit of advice with regards to my role at my school. I am an experienced EYFS teacher and been in my current school for 1 year. I have previously had a middle leader role as the lead of art at a previous school but it was a one form entry and we had training from the deputy head and a lot of support.
    On the last day of school last academic year in my current school, I found out I had been given the humanities lead for the whole school (geog and history), from reading the staff handbook! Not even a conversation with me prior to this at all. I have never experienced this before as in previous schools teachers were invited to apply. I then found out that I am the only teacher in the school who has been given a big subject area to lead on my own and when I asked the deputy head about a TLR, he laughed at me and said no. Have since found out that no other teachers get TLRs either, apart from one last year because she made a huge fuss. I really don't want this role, it was just thrown in my lap. Can I say no to it or do I just have to do it? It seems no one in my school says no to anything and this is intimidating. I am also aware that the school hardly ever give out extra PPA or time out to do extra work so I know this is going to take up a lot of extra time when I can fit it in around classroom work.
    I feel completely out of my depth as it is for 14 classes and I have only ever taught EYFS so have no idea about the curriculum for the rest of the school, the topics or how its taught. On top of this we are due an Ofsted inspection this year so since the get go this term we have had so much pressure put on us, including telling subject leads that they have to know their subjects inside out and upside down. It has stressed me out to the point where I went home crying every day last week. Both the head and deputy know this and I have told them I feel very overwhelmed by it. Their response has been that other (already overworked) members of staff such as the assistant head, will be there to support me and that I am an experienced teacher so I'll be fine.
    I'm really not sure what to do, I have already decided to leave the school at the end of the academic year but I am not sure what to do about the subject lead role? Does anyone have any advice or clear cut knowledge of what I can say no to?
    Thanks in advance.
  2. Cantwaittogo

    Cantwaittogo New commenter

    This sounds like a situation you need union advice on? Can you give them a call?
    agathamorse and jlishman2158 like this.
  3. sooooexcited

    sooooexcited Established commenter

    Any teacher on M2 or higher can be given a subject to lead. A TLR is certainly not given in primary for humanities.
  4. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    Such a role won’t involve much work and wouldn’t normally come with a TLR.

    Speak with the AHT who is going to support you and get them to help you.

    If there are any ‘big’ jobs that need doing, email HT/DHT explaining what you need to do and how it will help the school - detail how long it will take and ask when you can have the time to do it.

    If you’re really due an ofsted and the HT thinks that whatever you need to do could affect an inspection outcome, they’ll give you the time...
  5. Caramel2308

    Caramel2308 Occasional commenter

    TLRs are not given for subjects other than Literacy and Numeracy usually and computing in some schools in my experience. There should be an overview of what is taught in each year group and the objectives that need covering so you should get access to that. Our school has mapped out all the objectives relevant to each year group and we needed to place them where they fitted into the subject coverage and that was done by the year group teachers. Perhaps you could start by asking the teachers for their long term planning for your subjects. It really shouldn't be lots of work.
    grumpydogwoman likes this.
  6. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    I don't think leading history and geography in a primary school is a huge job.
    Maybe I'm lazy, but I did absolutely nothing in the two years that I did that job.
    You don't need to know or do anything.

    But in a school with at least 14 classteachers, plus SLT, everyone shouldn't need to lead a subject.
    agathamorse likes this.
  7. HolyMahogany

    HolyMahogany Senior commenter

    Just download a SOW, course, resources etc and distribute these to your colleagues. Look on your LA website and any others that provide guidance and resources, including this one. You would be surprised, or perhaps not so surprised, how many people do just that and no more even when they are receiving TLR's for a subject area.
    You can always tweek these later on if you have the time and inclination. You could send out a staff questionnaire on the course at the end of each term to get colleagues feedback. This won't take much effort and should impress SLT.
  8. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    Or devise a plan for your work for the year - which doesn't involve doing too much at once. This term: audit the current coverage. Then you know what is being covered where, and you'll be able to tell Ofsted what you're going to look at improving next, one topic at a time. You don't need to know every fact they're going to teach - it's surely enough to know that the year 4 team are completely happy with Tudors and don't need your input.
  9. DrJay

    DrJay Occasional commenter

    This one of the 'acceptance culture' that makes teachers walk overs. :( Where is specifically documented or is it one of the "you better accept it unquestionable or else what can you do with your BEd Primary degree?"
  10. Curae

    Curae Star commenter

    Absolutely not acceptable whether primary or not. If you decide to stay do as suggested minimum/absolutely nothing. If you leave ensure you find out the type of payscale and expectations of any future employer.
  11. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    FEFEC9F2-DC76-411B-9E2D-B56DB34EE810.jpeg 63F0812A-02B0-46A2-987D-FB15BFDE01A4.jpeg

    Reckon you ought to lose that subject lead quick. This is science and they’ll expect the same for humanities.
    annascience2012, Zoeart85 and Curae like this.
  12. powerpointdave

    powerpointdave New commenter

    It is, in my 20 plus years experience, completely normal to be given one or two subjects (or even several in a small primary school) to lead without a TLR. I have coordinated geography and history and would I’m afraid, also have been laughed at if I asked for a TLR- didn’t get one as English coordinator either. It’s a subject leadership role in most cases, not middle leadership. You were very lucky to have a middle leadership role just for art. I agree the school should have informed you first and discussed it with you but it sounds like they’re trying to cover all the bases ready for OFSTED. Keep asking for guidance and clear expectations of the role, ask for the LTP for the subjects. You’re new to it so no one should expect you to know everything.
  13. Zoeart85

    Zoeart85 New commenter

    Thank you all for the advice. It seems there is a wide mix of experiences. Whilst a lot of you say I shouldn't have to do much for the role as it isn't maths or literacy, you don't know what my school is like! They are extremely high pressure with very high expectations. An example of this is the headteacher screaming at the whole staff last year for making a few spelling errors etc in reports and she ripped up several teacher's reports in front of them. So i will have to have every t crossed and i dotted. Which is where the added pressure I feel comes in. The previous teachers who had the role told me it was a huge undertaking for one teacher as well. I can accept given your feedback that perhaps I won't get a tlr but i am concerned about the work load and lack of support already demonstrated by slt. Perhaps i need to call union to ask about it. Although we also have no union reps at our school because the head is against it and will go absolutely mad if she finds out anyone has got union advice .
  14. Zoeart85

    Zoeart85 New commenter

    This is what we were told would happen in our Ofsted inset day training. Hence why I am so worried!
    agathamorse likes this.
  15. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    TLR not usual for that amount of work which need not be too onerous.

    Ought to be perfectly doable as described by many other posters.

    The issue here is bullying in the workplace. So it is very much a union matter. She doesn't like unions? Ha! Who gives a duck? She's about to get the union shoved right down her mouthy gob! But then I was a union rep and scared of nobody. Sorry. Time to get tough. Well, that's actually nonsense. Nothing tough about it. Just standing up for your rights against a bully.
    bajan and agathamorse like this.
  16. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    Yes, I mean as a subject lead in secondary that would be fine. I’d do that for English with aplomb. Start handing me other subjects and I’m going to be spluttering to a halt. What you need is a careful mapping of each half term, topic by topic and then have someone ask you to talk through the narrative with reference to a couple of pupils' books and some upcoming lessons.

    The thing is, curriculum design has theoretical perspectives. My advice would be to go for a Bruneristic spiral curriculum which revisits topics and adds another layer of complexity and knowledge each time. That’s an easy thing to write into a curriculum and to defend. It’s got all the retrieval and interleaving stuff beloved of the trads yet is still fairly progressive in its constructivist notions.
  17. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

  18. HolyMahogany

    HolyMahogany Senior commenter

    Your HT sounds like a real joy to work with, screaming at staff and tearing up their work is bullying, be in no doubt about this. Moving schools is probably the best option, and at least you can put down your success as humanities lead on your CV.
    I feel that it is coming to the time when teachers will need to start finding ways of recording some of these appalling and unprofessional incidents we hear about on these pages. Building undeniable evidence of SLT bullying and sharing these on social media, naming and shaming may be the only way for teachers to protect themselves. (and I never thought I would become an advocate of doing such things against a colleague, but I can think of one meeting that I really wish I had a record of)
    Zoeart85, grumpydogwoman and Curae like this.
  19. May2

    May2 Established commenter

    I understand your worry being a EYFS teacher. Being a subject leader for any subject up to Year 6 when you teach a different curriculum in EYFS is really hard to get your head round and be motivated enough to want to do it. It is really hard to get your head around all the levels etc when it is not something you do day to day. Being a subject leader and a supposed expert to lead that subject when you are not even teaching it and having the rest of the staff respect your views is difficult. I never thought it right when the Science subject leader came to observe us doing science in nursery. I felt I had to be doing a bit more sciencey stuff when he came and then he wrote up the observation without having any understanding of how EYFS works. I remember replying with two sides of A 4 what a load of irrelevant stuff he had written but as usual he was ticking boxes and doing what was requested of him.
    Sorry my sympathy doesn't really help you much. You said I think that you have 14 teachers so are some subjects shared ,I know some schools do this. Would this be a way forward if you could share it. Unfortunately I agree that very few if any schools would give you a TLR for it. At one time I covered R E which seemed less onerous. Perhaps someone else would like a change for their prof development and could swap with you to some area you were happier with.
    Zoeart85 likes this.
  20. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    Ofsted inspectors will not hammer a newly appointed primary humanities lead! This will be nowhere near their list of priorities, and if It was, would be a good thing, as it means they’d be happy with all the main inspection foci.

    There is also a one year grace period for the implementation of the foundation curriculum during this year’s primary inspections.


    All you might need is a ‘vision’ (!) - an explanation of where you’d like the humanities to be next September and what you think you might need to do to get there. This will undoubtably form one of the key areas of your SIP anyway, so SLT will already have the answers...

    Do not worry.

Share This Page