I apologise in advance for any typos or incoherence, but I am trying to type this on my ipad on the train and it's a bit packed. I've been thinking about this for a few days now and have finally decided to post asking for advice. I've created a new username specially, but have been a member for <cough> years with a username which I'm sure that the person concerned has seen me use to download resources! I went for a HoD role at my current school (am the Second in Department) and didn't get it. Fair enough, they appointed the person that they thought was best for the job and after a few tears at home I dealt with it and was ready to start the new year with a positive mental attitude, keen to help the new HoD out and make the transition as easy as possible. The new HoD has been the bane of my life since the beginning - even before term started. I arranged a time for them to come into the office to go through everything that would be of use prior to everyone else turning up. That was a mistake, they were downright rude to me and "yeah-yeah-yeahed" their way through everything that I said. They then demanded that I come in and do some more work with them again (lets check that we're on the same page with marking/SOWs etc) only to act in exactly the same way. I was upset after both of these occasions, but kept on thinking that I would give them another chance. It has only gotten worse since. They keep on making stupid mistakes that make it very clear that they haven't checked anything before they have done it and then try and blag their way out of it by claiming that they're tired and that I wouldn't understand as I don't know what it's like to have young children. Fair enough, having kids is hard and having kids as a HoD or member of SLT is even worse at times. I've always tried to be supportive of those around me and was there lots for my last but one HoD who was going through the most horrible time trying to conceive. I've not flagged things up that she has been doing wrong as I put it down as teething problems and have just tried to be quietly helpful. She also only works four out of the five days each week and I'm expected to deputise for her on her day off. Last week on her day off I found that she had sent an email demanding that the school sectary send out a letter to all parents about something department related - school sec mentioned in passing that she was dreading the production of almost 800 letters again for my department. This had already been dealt with weeks before when I had, at her request, sent the job to the office to be dealt with. She had been copied into all emails/paper requests between myself and reprographics. The blank paper copy was also placed on her desk and another email sent to her confirming that it had been done. There should be no reason for her not to know that it had been done. She has been adamant that she will not access any emails on her time off and we do not have her mobile number to contact her. So as acting HoD (and something that had always been my job as second anyway) I got the school sec to send me the document that she had been sent to send out before she started and checked it against the one that had already been sent (and that we had been receiving responses to) almost two weeks earlier. It was identical and so I dropped the School sec a quick line saying to hold fire on the letters as I wasn't sure that these needed to be sent. I then received the MOTHER of all passive aggressive emails from this supposedly professional woman telling me that I had made her look like she was totally incompetent and that I should have waited to talk to her (on what would have been four days later and after the school had wasted time and money on 800 odd letters going out to the same parents that had already received and in most cases answered them) when she returned to work on the Monday! Was this the wrong thing to do? Should I have let the school send out duplicate letters? Do I need to check every single thing that I do with her before I do it? Little tasks like arranging homework help clubs and signing students up for talks which are already arranged and that get done every year (speakers are already arranged BTW, year in advance jobby). I'm sick of this woman making my working life miserable. I already had a *talk* from her a few days in about how I wasn't making any effort to make her feel welcome (this is after she had slammed everything that I had to say and reduced me to tears by her rudeness a few days in a row and so I decided to just be very professional and polite with her), and that it had been noted that I wasn't as enthusiastic about seeing her as I was other staff members as I didn't invite her out to lunch when I went ON A SATURDAY with a friend of mine that I have known for many years who happens to have started to work in the same department for a short fixed contract. I have nodded, agreed and done everything that she has asked. I'm sick to death of trying to tactfully chase her for things that she has said that she will do, but hasn't. I feel very much that she wants me out of the school and that she will do anything to paint me in a bad light. All I am doing is going on in exactly the same way that I have for the last ten years as second in department and have no desire to undermine her little. I'm doing nothing different to the what I did with my old bosses. If I wanted to make her look stupid there would be a number of better ways to do so. To top it all work-wise I've found out today that she has been cancelling her sixth form lessons left, right and centre and then just disappearing. Car gone, not signed out and nobody has any idea where she is. I don't want to sound like I have a bad case of sour grapes by saying something to our HoF about what's going on. My aim was to just do my job to the best of my abilities, but it doesn't look like I'm going to be allowed to do even that. I kept on telling myself that it was all in my imagination and that it would get better, until a member of staff from another department overheard her when I was trying to discuss something with me and said that she hadn't heard an adult be so rude or dismissive of anyone. She reducing the number of tasks that I'm "allowed" to do and taking them all onto herself. Hubby says that she probably feels threatened by me, but I spent ages trying to make her feel welcome and make it clear that I would support any changes that she wanted to make. I'm even at the stage of considering applying for jobs that start in January and just get out, even though I've always said that I would never do it and love my classes. I'm in a definite shortage subject. I've already reached the stage where I'm dreading going into work if I know that she will be there and do not want to be alone with her. Ever. I also happen to be going through a very hard time at the moment medically. My Headteacher knows what is happening and is very supportive. I do not want to discuss this issue with the HoD and it has no impact on my ability to teach or do my Second in department role. She is desperately trying to find out what is happening. I'm having to be very guarded at all times and have found her hovering around my computer/mobile when I come into our office. Luckily having come from a background where security is everything and it was a sackable offence to leave your computer unlocked when away from your desk she has no hope of finding anything out. But it worried me. Sorry for the rambling nature of the post.