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What is the remit of a line manager/what is the scope of their 'control' over a department?

Discussion in 'Heads of department' started by OckhamsRazor, Jun 10, 2011.

  1. OckhamsRazor

    OckhamsRazor New commenter

    I joined my school at the same time as my LM, who had previously been HoD in my subject, and had similar experiences to you (presumably also similar to you was the fact that she was teaching IN the department, too). Patience was the key thing! There were a couple of times when I actually had to admit that her ideas were better than mine, but it took a while to see through the red haze. There were also a couple of occasions when we clashed to the point that I got the Head involved, and I think the Head did have a word with her to let go.

    So, if you can endure things more, try to do so; if not, speak to the Head.
  2. funkygirl

    funkygirl New commenter

    Hi Stopwatch,

    Does it fit in with the whole school development plan in terms of what he is suggesting??? The view in our school is that the link leader ensures that there is effective self evaluation and monitoring taking place within subject areas that are in line with whole school priorities. Examples can include developing staff who are potential leaders, T&L strategies and intervention for pupils who are not progressing.

    It could well be that the head has directed the new assistant head to focus on particular areas??
  3. stopwatch

    stopwatch Lead commenter

    Thanks for both replies so far.
    Fortunately he does not work in the department (although he often visits the PE Office and coaches teams).
    The things he is asking me to do/I have differing views on are nothing to do with the School development plan.
    Examples include e.g. the way I allocate teachers to classes and lessons/the activities they teach. The way he is suggesting/insisting on, I believe actually makes the quality of T&L less effective.
    On another occasion when caretaking staff had not cleared an area of rubbish which I had repeatedly asked for over the previous month, he told me I should do it rather than addressing the fact the caretaking staff were ignoring the job despite requests.
    Without going into too much detail these things happen on regular occasions and is very wearing/demotivating.
    Other members of my department also have voiced that they find him condescending/patronising and don't agree with things he is trying to do (by the way I don't have a 'moanfest' about him to the department and have kept my opinion to myself).
  4. funkygirl

    funkygirl New commenter

    In terms of the activities taught, why not complete a pupil voice?? If students are happy with the content/activities being taught then this can be used as evidence in terms of the appropriate programme of study being put in place. If results are good this should strengthen your case. If results are poor at KS 3 or GCSE then maybe this is why link leader may be suggesting change to what is being taught.

    In terms of teacher allocation, are specific teachers ensuring not showing poor results in terms of progress of students for some classes?? Have any lesson observations been poor?

    Some of what you highlighted suggests that your link leader is referring to ways of raising standards in teaching and learning which will always feature in a school development planning and its also one of the governments driver for ofsted!
  5. Nope! Simples. It's your department, and the head has delegated to YOU the task of running it. Senior teachers who try to hijack a department are acting unprofessionally. By all means allow him a voice, but at the end of the day it's your call. He's not at XXX school now, he's moved on. And up to yours. You're the one with the TLR. Thank him for his input but ask (demand?) he respects your right to run a successful department, as you have for many many years. A quiet word to the head probably wouldn't go amiss. Presumably all your colleagues are with you on this?
  6. Oh please don't be serious. The day we need advice from students on how we administer our departments is the day we relinquish all control. Fine for feedback on how they learn, or not, but no way are students qualified to exercise judgements on how we carry out our professional and administrative responsibilities.
  7. I'd insist on having the LM changed. Our HODs are line manged by the two deputies, one of whom teaches in my Faculty and I refused point blank for her to be my LM stating that I did not want any possibility of any conflict of interest arising. As it happens, I have often gone to talk to her about the faculty and its issues and have listened to her thoughts and often acted upon them in some way. Having my LM outside the Faculty gives me someone objective to talk to which I value.
  8. funkygirl

    funkygirl New commenter


    I was actually suggesting it as a way of evidencing how successful the current programme of study is!!! Stopwatch leads a PE department (I know this from past discussion in the PE forum) where in the past pupil voice has formed a big part in terms of curriculum content due to school sports partnerships and PESSYP data which we would have had to send through etc. If you can't be positive, don't say anything at all!!
  9. It's a dangerous precedent: pupils are not equipped, trained or qualified to comment on the professional capabilities of teachers, and should never be asked so to do.
  10. gavcradd

    gavcradd New commenter

    Same sort of thing happened with me - the old HoD went up to be Assistant Head, I was promoted to be HoD but then he took over as my line manager. He was fine at first when I was merely continuing with "his" schemes of work, plans, etc, but when I started to change things he'd not be a happy bunny. 4 years down the line and I started to make major changes (including dropping some of his pet projects that weren't working well any more) and he started to try and be more and more dictatorial.

    I simply asked to have a different line manager, explained the situation to the head and it was sorted - no big deal!

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