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What if the Deputy refuses to step up as Acting Head?

Discussion in 'Headteachers' started by gorgybaby, Dec 19, 2010.

  1. Can this happen? Can Govs insist that a Deputy take the role of Acting Head?
  2. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    Yes - it's in the job description that a deputy must deputise for the head when appropriate and necessary.
    I'd say it was a disciplinary issue to refuse.
  3. Isn't there a difference between deputising for the head when he / she is absent, and taking on the role of Acting Head?
  4. As I have posted before, this is a common mistake that many people make when taking on the role of Deputy Head....You are the 'reserve' / 'alternative' Head...That is the job / role / responsibility / expectation...Of course there could be personal exceptions such as expecting a baby, ongoing medical problem, family crisis, been in post for hours and inexperienced, school in serious crisis.....However an experienced Deputy should be capable of being Acting Head, the Head should have prepared them as well and if refuses I think that Governing body should look to HR for competency advice...If not acceptable then don't take on role....
  5. anon2799

    anon2799 New commenter

    It goes with the territory. I've lost count of how many times I've said it to oeople thinking of applying for the DH role. Always consider whether you are ready to run the school because you could be asked to within days of taking up the role. A colleague found themselves in this position a few weeks into their first deputy headship in a struggling school, they subsequently went into SM and she was acting head for 2 years. I think a refusal would've resulted in a disciplinary. You can't pick and choose the parts of the role you want to do!
  6. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    And the difference when the head is away long-term? Or has resigned? Is what?
    As others have said, you can't pick and choose the bits you fancy doing. Deputies are appointed so that if the head goes under a metaphorical - or real - bus, there will be someone who can step up immediately and be the head.
  7. Having to deputise is kind of an occupational hazard of being a Deputy really....
    C x
  8. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    Indeed. What next, I wonder? 'Do you have to teach if you're employed as a teacher?'
  9. Only if you feel up to it... and the kids in the class are nicely scrubbed and never speak without being spoken to...
    C x
  10. anon2799

    anon2799 New commenter

    phew, that's a relief!
  11. becky70

    becky70 Occasional commenter

    Yes - that's what you take on when you accept the post of deputy head. It means as it says - you deputise whenever the head is unavailable. If the head goes off sick for six months then you're the head. It should be in this person's job description.
  12. Be thankful.
  13. Scenario - a DHT only a few months into the job. Would they be ready to take on the Acting role? Maybe, maybe not. I simply don't see that it should be a disciplinary issue if the DHT said, no, I'm not experienced enough.
    Anyway, the decision rests with the governors, who may or may not regard a school's DHT as capable of doing the Acting role.
  14. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    I disagree, Tom. The whole point of having deputies is that they can step up as and when - and for as long - as required. Furthermore, allowing a deputy to say 'I'm not experienced enough' begs the question, 'Where should the line be drawn on amount of time needed?' A term? Two terms? A year? Two years?
    Otherwise, you'd need to write into the job description that a specific period of time was the cut-off point for being 'experienced enough'.
  15. I am a deputy that has been acting head for the last 12 months. Totally agree with the poster who said to be appointed acting ht.
    I have led the school through an inspection and taken part in the county head induction training. On my second day of AHT I closed the school due to snow.
    It is a funny position to be in as you are doing the job of a 'real' HT but do not have the same kudos with some 'stakeholers.
  16. Thanks everyone for your responses.
  17. oldsomeman

    oldsomeman Star commenter

    As a point of interest....are they paid a head's salary while acting head........i often think is unfair if they carry the responsibility but have no financial reward. Bit like post holders having responsibility and not getting any increments.
  18. anon2799

    anon2799 New commenter

    When I did it I didn't get the same wage as the ht, I got the lowest point on the ht pay spine, I'm going back over a decade though.
  19. In response to the pay issue if you are appointed acting head you have to be paid at least the lowest point on the ISR range and are entitled to increment rises. If you are assigned acting head the govs can pay you what they like.
    Any deputies out there asked to take on the role of acting head, request to be formally appointed by the GB
  20. oldsomeman

    oldsomeman Star commenter

    that would have been nice to get the day all the SMT where out of the school and I,as the most experienced member of staff, had to be the head lol
    Luckily i didnt have to make any earth shattering decisions...although im not sur how legal such decision would have been at the time!

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