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Taking on a HOD role where you faced your new colleague at interview

Discussion in 'Heads of department' started by madhatter1883, Feb 14, 2016.

  1. madhatter1883

    madhatter1883 New commenter

    I am a soon to be HOD in a new school. At interview I went up against the second in department but I was given the job. The soon to be new colleague seemed quite friendly and conciliatory throughout the day but I obviously haven't seen them since the offer phone call. And how much can you really know from an interview day. The colleague seems to be at a similar career stage to myself. Any tips, however simple on managing this potentially awkward relationship will be very much appreciated!
  2. fineliner

    fineliner Occasional commenter

    Congratulations on your appointment. Firstly, I would not assume or expect any awkwardness in the relationship. I'd assume that the 2i/c is mature enough and professional enough to deal with this situation - it is not uncommon in teaching. Secondly, I'd be grateful that you have a 2i/c in post who is strong enough to have been short-listed for the HOD role and who is familiar with the school routines - this person could prove a great asset if you enable him/her to be so. However, if the 2 I/c feels undervalued or unchallenged, he/she will look for promotion elsewhere. So instead of anticipating awkwardness, you should be thinking of how to best make use of this valuable resource who are lucky enough to have. Good luck.
  3. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Excellent advice there @fineliner.
    madhatter1883 likes this.
  4. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    I once lost out to an external candidate for a head of year post, I was thrilled to bits because they were way better at the post than I would have been and I learned a lot from them.
  5. madhatter1883

    madhatter1883 New commenter

    Thanks. Your advice is reassuring!
  6. peterdevon

    peterdevon New commenter

    Don't want to rain on your parade, but it can be very difficult. I know of a similar situation a few years ago that resulted in a power struggle. The unsuccessful second in the department was obstructive and worked against the new HoD, until finally the new HoD left.

    The situation might have been managed better if the new HoD had sat down right at the start with the second and drawn up clear expectations including 'We won't always agree. I expect you to help me to make good decisions and support the decisions I do make, even if you did not at first agree.'

    The other thing that would have made a difference would have been if the HoD has sought help from her manager earlier. I think she thought that she ought to be able to manage the situation without help, but actually was her manager's responsibility to help her.

    You probably won't need this advice. Most teachers are professional and your new second will ask you on the first day... "how can I help you?" and then work tirelessly with you. But that first meeting establishing expectations could be crucial.

    By the way..have you seen the Making the Difference book? Excellent reading for new HoDs: http://www.youblisher.com/p/362040-Heart-of-the-matter/
    madhatter1883 likes this.
  7. mutumhe

    mutumhe New commenter

    Guys help me I am trying to apply for the head of Department post i am in the middle of doing my NPQML... But the question that troubles me is the task of "DATA TASK" what is expected on this challenge question someone help me out there

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