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What can I make them do?

Discussion in 'Heads of department' started by alimund, Jun 19, 2013.

  1. I'm taking over a department in a school in Sept. I am aware that the staff are resistant to change but I'm going to change the schemes of work they are using and bring in some new staff (this is part of the reason I have been brought in).

    I suspect that they are going to object so how much direction can I give them in terms of what I want them to teach?

  2. It's your department! If you want to change schemes of work, do it. I'm doing the very thing in the department I recently took over. I approached it by having a department meeting and getting everyone to contribute their ideas, but had my own suggestions ready to help lead it the way I wanted. Luckily they went with it and they felt involved in the decision making, so no resistance was met with. In terms of then writing up the schemes of work once we'd brainstormed, at a department meeting I asked who would prefer to do which year group and delegated that way. I'll then, of course, check afterwards!
  3. Thanks Ennazus23 - that was the answer I was looking for!
  4. fineliner

    fineliner Occasional commenter

    Please be careful with your 'make them do' attitude. You need to see your role as that of a leader; you need to take the team with you. If there are issues in the department you would be well advised to set out a vision and build a team around it rather than see it as 'taking over a department'. The best way to make 'them' do it is to make them want to. Yes, it will be harder work but at least there is the chance it will be successful.
  5. fineliner

    fineliner Occasional commenter

    Not the answer you were looking for!
  6. I'm also formally becoming HOD in Sept after acting up for few months. I've worked with one staff member for a number of years, and another for a few months. Although i would like to delegate roles and responsibilities, (both because it was never done that way in the past and because there aren't enough hours in the day) so far anything that has been delegated - after discussion, not in a dictatorial way! - has not been completed on time which is making me very wary of delegating tasks in the future. any advice on how to manage this? It will be huge issue for us in september due to many changes within our subject area.
  7. fineliner

    fineliner Occasional commenter

    If the quality of the work is fine and the only issue is that the work was late - but didn't require too much chasing up, then you probably just need to ensure that the teachers have adequate time to commit to the task. If there are other issues then you could ask teachers to devise a plan (or devise one together) showing which parts of the task will be completed by specific dates. This way it will be easier to ensure work is finished by the deadline and identify any issues as they arise.
  8. thanks fineliner :)
  9. Thanks fineliner - you're absolutely right! My aim is to get them on board. The reason I have been brought in is to kind of 'rescue' the department. A lot of changes need to be made to try to get the department on track (it's been a 'failing' department for some years).
  10. I would be very careful. I have been HOD in state and private schools for past 20 years and your post set up alarm bells for me. If senior management were not happy why haven't THEY changed things ? They have the structures/power to do this. If you have been brought in to effect change how much have senior management supported/intervened before your arrival ? I suspect they might wash their hands of you/the situation if it doesn't go as you would like. The most important thing is establishing a sense of unity and teamwork - spend time getting to know your team before you make radical changes. Of course you can ignore this but I'm seeing the potential for a great amount of conflict. I found your language revealing...." how much direction can I give them?" has the whiff of arrogance. Don't presume that you have the answers. Apologies for frankness, this is an attempt to help.
  11. Thanks Jady, I appreciate your candour.

    I certainly didn't mean to sound arrogant - I know I don't have all the answers!

    SMT has been changed radically in the last few months (most of them are new) and my coming in is part of the big 'shake-up'. I have to respond to the comments made by Ofsted and other consultants, all of whom have commented on the out-dated curriculum and teaching in the department (chalk and talk). Whilst my aim is to support and guide them and to get them on side as quickly as possible, I also know I have to change quite a few things. I want to make it as comfortable as possible for them all.
  12. I know how it is. I was in a so called "failing" school in the inner city for over 14 years. We had endless consultants, "super"- heads, OFSTEDS so I have some idea of the pressure you'll be under. I would have a minuted meetings with your line manager/Head before you start, about, SPECIFICALLY, what senior management expects you to do. Get, in writing, the outcomes they expect both in terms of exam results, and curriculum delivery. This is absolutely vital in at least giving you a fair chance to present to the department the necessity for change. What you should definitely avoid, at all costs, is the scenario whereby you try to change on a unilateral basis, with entreaties to your colleagues to work harder because you've been asked to turn things around. You'll have to develop rhino-hide like skin because they're inevitably going to feel threatened. Do not allow yourself to be bracketed as the youngster who thinks he/she knows it all. Produce a newsletter ( weekly if you've got the energy) which outlines celebrates anything you could classify as a success...lessons that went well, organisational issues, longer term items, competitions for the kids. Copy line manager/ Head in on this. Compliment your colleagues' successes, even if you don't necessarily feel impressed with them. If this sounds Machiavellian, so be it. I am now in an energy-sapping private school where, ironically, I work harder than I ever did , massively long hours and lots of unrealistic/mad parents. There is lots of game-playing involved. with self preservation being the order of the day. I am particularly conscious of how you must not let SLT force you into a corner where you are doing their dirty work for them., Don't forget that young/ aspiring senior management are often keen to make a mark and might not particularly have your best interest at heart. Be aware of their capacity to claim credit for "turning around" the English department. Hope this helps, at least it gives you something to think about.

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