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Too young/inexperienced to be an AHT from September 2012?

Discussion in 'Senior Leadership Team' started by jjoxsoton, May 15, 2011.

  1. Dear all
    I'm just about to finish my third year of teaching and go into my fourth year at the same school I was at when I was an NQT. I am 25 years old and shall be 26 when this query becomes relevant. Whilst I considered leaving this year to seek a Head of Department role (History) I decided to stay to see my Year 10 tutor group, who I have had since the end of Year 7, through to Year 11 next year.
    For two of the three past years and continuing in to next year, I have been a defacto Second in Department, though not paid or recognised formally. I have led half of the department (a split site) and its staff, resources etc and dealt with many issues. I have also been for a year now and carrying it on in September, a very active Gifted and Talented Coordinator. I have done a lot in this role, such as whole school events, G&T school trips, mentoring underachievers, providing INSET, working with SLT and managing a G&T Staff Group of 22 people. I have provided leadership of this group and together we have raised the profile of G&T and are steadily improving performance. I have lots of ideas where I want to take the role from September and a really supportive Deputy Head who is working alongside me.
    I am extremely ambitious and hardworking. All of my observed lessons have been classed as "outstanding" and I easily develop positive relationships with colleagues and students. I have also recently completed a M.Ed degree and am looking for my next challenge. I would also say that I have a very positive and commanding presence in all situations.
    My question is, does this put me in a suitable place to be a successful candidate for Assistant Headship? I am still on the MPS (4 from Sept) and am beginning to put together evidence for Threshold. Also, does not being a HOD hinder my chances, if they exist at all? Does what I have explained above compensate for not being a HOD or is this a route that is essential? I know that every place is different, though is it a "golden rule"?
    Any thoughts would be really welcome. I am single so have no problem in moving to new places to take jobs at good schools.

    Thanks.
    J.
     
  2. I personally think you need some more leadership experience first, so would advise you to go for a HOD or HOY position as your next move. Nothing wrong with being ambitious, I just don't think you have enough experience just yet.

    Good luck anyway
     
  3. Sounds like you know already! If you are really driven and confident to inspire others then you must. Hope you maintain your enthusiasm.
     
  4. Years ago (well back in the 90's when I started out on my teaching career) it was generally seen that to go up the ranks you had to serve your time as a mainscale teacher for a few years (well at least 5-7) then take up a HOD role or a HOY role and have a few years at each (to get both the pastoral and curriculum experience) and then you would look at senior teacher/assistant headteacher roles (mid to late 30s) and then onto DH and Head if you so wished.
    A DH in my first school once told my colleague that I was " acting above my station" because I was looking at a HOD role after 3 years! I did not get the job but a year later was HOD at my school! I then went onto another HOD at another school, HOY at my third school and then KS leader and now Assistant head at my current school....I am 40.
    My views are that whilst it is a good idea to have taken on various curriculum and pastoral roles to get the "feel" of the AHT job it depends on what the role will be....if it was a curriculum AHT I would certainly say having some HOD experience will be good (and may well help get an interview).
    However times have changed and some heads now being appointed are in their mid 30s....this was not common back in the 90s...you had to serve your time! And it was the same for most AHT/DHs.
    In the current climate I compare it to what some football commentators say about young players/managers - "If you are good enough you are old enough!"
    Go for the AHT jobs if you feel you want to but also be prepared to take on a HOD role for a few years....it would help and in the long run put you in a good position.
    One final thought - how about shadowing LT at your current school? Sitting on LT for a year at meetings and following one or two members would look good on the CV and give you a clear idea what you will be letting yourself in for!
    Good luck
    CB
     
  5. anon2799

    anon2799 New commenter

    I'd be looking for more experience in a different setting. If you're really AHT material you can transfer your skills to another school.
     
  6. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    AHT in secondary is a role that usually attracts a lot of applicants, particularly those with middle management experience at HOD or HOY level. Many or most of these will have held the post of second in dept and whilst you say you are 'de facto' second, you're not in reality.
    You're perfectly free to apply for any jobs you like - but I seriously doubt that you'd get any head to look at you when you're only on MPS.
    Curlygirly advises you to get experience in another school. I uphold this advice and recommend you apply for middle management posts suitable for someone with your level of experience.
    Finally, making your way up the career ladder in schools isn't a race - leadership posts are very challenging indeed and a sure-fire way to damage your health and your career is to race too quickly into a post you're not really ready for. Take your time,polish your classroom craft and learn wider, essential management skills before you attempt to move into senior leadership.
     

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