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Time in school

Discussion in 'Headteachers' started by tollolo, May 6, 2012.

  1. tollolo

    tollolo New commenter

    I've been earmarked for promotion to assistant headship with the possibility of eventual headship. The thing is, I feel I do most of my best work at home. At the moment I usually arrive at school between 8:25 and 8:40 and leave between 4:00 and 4:45 (unless there is a specific meeting). I find that if I work in school, too many distractions make me inefficient. Do any SMT find themselves able to work these contact hours without being unduly judged? Needless to say, I make the rest up at home.
     
  2. R13

    R13 New commenter

    In short, no I can't but others might. Sorry, not because of colleagues judgements (Though you are correct to think about them) but because of the role itself
    Whilst paperwork can certainly be done more effectively out of school on occasions one of 'jobs' you are really needed for is to be there to support your colleagues when they need this . . . a job that can't be done with you elsewhere.
     
  3. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    I agree. I cannot go along with the notion that most of what SLT do is 'paperwork', because it definitely is not - not if they're doing a decent job.
     
  4. I would agree with others on this. In the time before children arrive, I am making various arrangements for the day ahead, checking cover, liaisng with my site manager etc, and catching up with colleagues; after school, I am involved in staff meetings (inc 1-1 meetings), seeing parents, visible support for events such as clubs. I could not do my job at all were I not available to the school community outside of school hours. A key part of my job as HT is relationships based - the paperwork side of things is the easier to manage, but being everything you need to be to all the people within the school is tricky and time consuming. I expect my SLT to show similar commitment and would be extremely concerned if I didn't see my AHT/DHT colleagues outside of the times you suggest; in fact my school wouldn't run at all efficiently were that the case.
     
  5. foxtail3

    foxtail3 Star commenter

    I can't help thinking that if you feel that the AHT role is primarily based on additional paperwork, then maybe you're not ready for it at present.
    As others have said, it's just as much, if not more, to do with communication at all levels, preparation for and evaluation of the day, dealing with issues that may arise suddenly. You can't do that remotely!
     
  6. As a DHT I need to spend longer in school than I did as a class teacher. I still have the work I had as a teacher but there are the added responsibilities mentioned above. Mostly though, people need to talk to me - HT runs things by me, teachers ask for advice and decisions etc. the interruptions mean the everyday stuff takes longer than it used to. I do long hours and still take just as much home.
     
  7. cleggy1611

    cleggy1611 New commenter

    I'm dht and am in school at 8.20 - 5.15. I think that's long enough. My ht arrives at a similar time and generally leaves at 3.45.
     
  8. anon2799

    anon2799 New commenter

    I knew a head who declared that the majority of her work could be done from home. Cue decline of school from good to special measures over the course of 4 years. Cue sacked head. Enough said.
     
  9. I doubt it was just the hours the head worked that signalled the decline - obviously other senior staff were not doing their jobs either.
    I don't think it can all be about the hours that you do - I arrive at about 8.20 and leave at 5/5.30 because of childcare. However I make a point of being accessible to staff all day and take home all my paperwork rather than doing it during the school day. It's all about balancing
     
  10. anon2799

    anon2799 New commenter

    The attitude of the other senior leaders was "she's never here so why should I bother" which you can't condone,but you can understand.
     
  11. tollolo

    tollolo New commenter

    Some interesting responses here. Truth be told, I need to bring my daughter to and from school, and I can't see her wanting to stay or leave any earlier or later than has been mentioned. I think I'm excellent at the relationship side of things, and I spend a fair amount of time on the local music scene, too, so I'd say I'm popular enough in the community.
     
  12. R13

    R13 New commenter

    I would say that in order to be an effective senior leader you need to sort out child care for your own children. Being a parent is a massive task, so is being a school leader . . . but you can arrange help so you can manage it
     
  13. tollolo

    tollolo New commenter

    Had a heated discussion about this a few months ago. It was said that a Head needs to choose between bringing up their children and being an effective leader. Personally I feel that's rubbish as what kind of person can lead a school if they can't even make time to socialise midweek with their kids?
     
  14. anon2799

    anon2799 New commenter

    You can do both but you do need some childcare. As aht abd certainly as head there will be times when you intend to leave early but something happens and you have to stay later. On 3 occasions recently I've been in school until 9pm sorting out serious safeguarding issues with the police which would not wait until morning. Once you are on the leadership scale you will be expected to do the same.
    I do socialise with my children in the week but they also understand that my job means I sometimes have to work late. 1265 doesn't apply to leaders. Work life balance is important but if you want to do the job properly you have to he there to lead, guide, support, develop and troubleshoot. That's why leaders get paid more. To be honest, I'm all for working smartly but the role of aht is to help move the school forward and you need to be around in school to do so.
     
  15. anon2799

    anon2799 New commenter

    As an aside, it isn't about being popular in the community- its about developing effective partnerships with the school and wider community. Being an effective leader isn't a popularity contest. You'll have to make some decisions which will make you very unpopular from time to time.
     
  16. tollolo

    tollolo New commenter

    Maybe so, but I think the school face is as important as what happens within. For me it's not a question of childcare - I have to bring my daughter in, and as a 15 year old I don't think she'll appreciate me bringing a childminder in to look after her - she barely lets me and wife do it! Of course, she often carries instruments and homework, so the bus simply isn't an option.
     
  17. Wotton

    Wotton Established commenter

    All of my children carried instruments and homework on the bus. Would suggest that if there is a bus your daughter should be allowed to use it. Then you would not have to collect her. Though I can understand if her instrument is a double bass .
     
  18. bnm

    bnm

    At my school I wouldn't consent to your bringing your daughter in: you are either at work doing your job or you are elsewhere being a parent. As a member of the leadership team you would have many commitments after school hours, and sometimes they would be with no advance notice.
     
  19. I can see no problem with you taking your daughter to school, but surely she's old enough to travel on the bus and have a door key. I have 2 children and usually leave by 5.30 to collect them. However when a governors meeting over-runs or a safeguarding issue arises I can be at school until 6.30 - it wouldn't be fair if I was the only one collecting the children
     

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