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we don't think our HoD is doing a good job! what would you want. your team to do?

Discussion in 'Heads of department' started by goodsci58, Feb 16, 2013.

  1. Hi,
    Our HoD is on a one year contract and had been our deputy for 5 years prior to this. He wasn't very good as deputy and definitely not as a HoD. In a nutshell, he lacks leadership qualities, doesn't support us and isn't moving the department forward. Pretty much the whole department feels this way. The HoD post is being advertised soon and we are afraid.he will be appointed permanently. We are thinking of telling the head teacher of our frustration but do feel bad doing this to him. Professionally it seems the only sensible thing to do. Any HoD out there, what would you expect your team to do in a situation like this?
     
  2. Hi,
    Our HoD is on a one year contract and had been our deputy for 5 years prior to this. He wasn't very good as deputy and definitely not as a HoD. In a nutshell, he lacks leadership qualities, doesn't support us and isn't moving the department forward. Pretty much the whole department feels this way. The HoD post is being advertised soon and we are afraid.he will be appointed permanently. We are thinking of telling the head teacher of our frustration but do feel bad doing this to him. Professionally it seems the only sensible thing to do. Any HoD out there, what would you expect your team to do in a situation like this?
     
  3. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    Let's turn the question around.
    What must your Head think of the rest of the department if the only choice for a HoD was such a poor one (allegedly)?
    The bottom line, as always, is that if you don't like what is going on, put your own name in the hat and see if what you offer is accepted as an improvement on the current incumbent.
     
  4. Why don't you try supporting this person instead of working against him? You sound like a bully to me and God knows schools are full of them! The world is full of hatred and you are a great example. There's good plumbers and bad plumbers; what should we as a society do - shoot all the bad ones? Try to find some humility if you can: compassion and empathy might help you become a bigger and better person. Perhaps you should apply for this post yourself (i.e. Put your money where your mouth is) or at least find another job in teaching? Good luck to you anyway!
     
  5. Firstly, no one applied for the role of HoD as none of us had even tried being deputy so couldn't jump to HoD. We have supported him as both deputy and HoD and had open discussion s with him on how he could improve. However, our HoD has basically told the head the reason we aren't doing well is because we're all **** and don't like him. We don't have many interactions with the head so she will believe what ll our HoD tells her. We aren't being the bullies. We have tried for 5 years to ne supportive when he was deputy, acting HoD and now temp HoD. It's a last resort going to the head. Are we meant to stay with this HoD to be nice? Our current deputy will apply for the HoD role when it's advertised.
     
  6. anon8315

    anon8315 Established commenter

    I'm trying to keep an open mind with this one.
    Before I try to answer your question, I have to say very honestly here that leading a reluctant, negative and set in their ways department is difficult, in fact it is almost impossible. I will come to that later.
    Okay, this is not supporting someone. Imagine someone observes you in a lesson that does not go very well. How would you feel if there was an "open discussion" about it in the department, with all your weaknesses and areas you need to improve laid bare? You wouldn't, would you? You wouldn't find that at all 'supportive.' So why assume that your HOD would feel supported by you doing that? It sounds horribly like an ambush and highly unpleasant.
    Interestingly, you don't say why you feel your HOD isn't doing a good job other than "lacks leadership qualities" so I can't really advise you on how you COULD be genuinely supportive. I will say however that stepping up from second in department to HOD on a temporary basis is very difficult indeed. To be a good HOD, you need to have a "vision" for the department and these visions tend to be long-term - some of my ideas won't fully bloom until this year's year 7s are in year 10. It's difficult to do that when you're there on a temporary basis.
    How do you KNOW this? Has he told you that he has said that? For what it is worth, I have weekly meetings with my line manager and I raise any concerns about staff in that weekly meeting, sometimes just to keep her informed, other times to ask advice on how to handle a particular situation. I try to be fair, but when you've got people who constantly oppose you, are rude to you, say horrible things about you, I reserve the right to have a little moan of my own!
    Your Head presumably has got the documentation from previous lesson observations - I take it that he can make his own mind up about your teaching. The latter point ("don't like him") sounds true.
    No; you're meant to let the senior management team make up their own minds about who they want to appoint. It really is that simple. Whoever they appoint, except a certain amount of stumbling at first. It's very difficult being a HOD for the first time and having a hostile, difficult department doesn't make it easy at all. Be careful, too - I know of a difficult department who were led by a very pleasant young man whose mantra was "support not criticise." He ended up becoming unwell through the stress of it and then resigned and took up an 'easier' post as HOD at a neighbouring school with a supportive department and as it happened the post was more money, too!
    Meanwhile, the Head decided the 'old' department needed, as he put it 'someone with balls of steel' and appointed a very determined man to lead it. Within a year two of the four had left under threat of capability procedings, the other took early retirement and the other was sulkily sitting with a written warning. The phrase "be careful what you wish for" comes to mind. Honestly, I have found teachers worse than the kids for petty squabbling!
     
  7. WD

    WD New commenter

    Well, having once been put into a school to sort out exactly that problem within a science dept. I have one or two observations. I agree with most outlined above by 'badger', but also-
    What development and training does your school offer for new middle leaders? It may well be that you have a system fault in your school where this isn't even considered. As a result your HoD has no-one outside the dept. to learn from and chew things over with.
    You seem quite happy to have a 'him/her' bad ,we great kind of view. How must it be like for a new manager, irrespective of acting as deputy, to manage you all? How do you all know you are any good? In what ways have you supported the HoD, or in what ways has he/she challenged you?
    And more importantly are your concerns for yourselves ot your students.
     
  8. Thanks for your comments, I don't think we will go to the head. As you've said SLT are there to make the decision. We are good teachers and our observations reflect this. We are thinking of the students.on a personal level we get on brilliantly as a department and we aren't hostile. We'll just have to wait and see what happens when the job is advertised.
     
  9. Crowbob

    Crowbob Senior commenter

    If you believe this to be true it would be daft to go to the Head with complaints...
     
  10. internationalschools

    internationalschools New commenter

    I have an opposite view to most of the other posts. Just as there are rubbish teachers, it can't be denied that there are rubbish HOD's too. On here, posters are always sympathetic to HOD's who want to pull up underperforming teachers, but it isn't always the case that the most senior people are in the right (I'm a HOD by the way). You have to follow the instructions of your line manager, but if he really is so awful, then I think you should pass your concerns up to the next in command, e.g. the Head of Faculty or whatever the equivalent post is in your school. Part of the job of a HOD is to lead, and if everyone lacks confidence in his leadership, then something is wrong, in the same way that something is wrong if every single student lacks confidence in a particular teacher
     
  11. anon8315

    anon8315 Established commenter

    I know what you are saying IS, but the problem is I have found some departments can be very insular and they will together band against a HOD who is making changes they don't like. I'm not saying that is what has happened here but some of the things that the OP posted made me think this is at least a possibility.
     

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