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What to do...?

Discussion in 'Heads of department' started by jendee12, Mar 24, 2013.

  1. Hi,

    Wonder if anybody can throw any advice my way?

    I started at my current school last April as HOD, but was told very quickly that my line manager (head of faculty) would be going on maternity leave from Sept. After a lot of pressure from an assistant head I applied for the position, convincing myself it would be good for my professional development. I was basically told that there was nobody else to do it, so I may as well try for it.
    So I did, and I hate it. I'm running four subjects whilst being head of one of those (not too unusual I know), but am receiving very little in the way of support in terms of how some of the (very established) systems work. My line manager (assistant head) is lovely, but seems to forget that I've not even done a full year at the school yet. So the other day, we had what I'd been led to believe was 'a quick discussion' about targets, but when I arrived she wanted a full-on presentation. I hadn't even known where to get the data from, and humiliatingly, I was so frustrated that I cried (I know). I think it's a testament to the school's way of working that my line manager just carried on talking over me crying for the next 40 minutes, until I told her I was teaching in 5 minutes and so would need to clean up my face beforehand.

    I've now been told by the permanent head of faculty that she no longer wants this job when she returns part time, and wants to revert to being a head of department. The expectation is that I'll carry on with the position because apparently I'm 'doing great'. This puts me in a bit of an awkward position (which I should have thought about before). If she doesn't want the job and I don't, they need to advertise for a new head of faculty. And then surely one of us heads of department will lose our TLR, as the new head of faculty will need to be a head of department too. The permanent head of faculty has said in no uncertain terms that if she can't be head of department, she'll leave.

    I just want to be subject leader for the subject I actually enjoy, but I don't get to do this part of my job properly. I want to find a new position elsewhere, but am currently in my 4th school and my 6th year of teaching. This isn't because of anything dubious, simply a temporary contract, a school closure and a relocation to be with my partner.

    Should I just bite the bullet and resign myself to drowning in data / bureaucratic hell, or do as many others are doing and jump ship?

    All constructive advice welcome! Sorry for the mega post...
     
  2. VeronicAmb

    VeronicAmb Occasional commenter

    Just think: Why did I become a teacher? In times likes these, you have to always question yourself. If you feel like that there's too much pressure on you and your health and life is being affected by this, then you need to give up this position.

    I've never been a situation like this before, so that's all the advice I can give you. Personally, I would look somewhere else if I was hating my job!
     
  3. Surely the woman on maternity can't just demote herself for the exact reason you state - it causing a knock on effect for everyone else. Unless the school change their tlr structure to suit her, of course.
     
  4. I presume it isn't your decision to make? If I understand it right, you were employed as a head of department, which is the job you want, and you have been acting as head of faculty while the HoF is on maternity leave. So when she returns, you go back to being HoD. The rest of the problems are between the HoF and the SLT surely.

    When you say "the expectation is that I'll carry on with the position because apparently I'm "doing great", I don't think that an "expectation" makes a binding job contract. I would assume that the your position is HoD, and your temporary position is HoF. So you just make sure that you keep talking about "when HoF returns, I'll make sure she is up to date with what I have done when I hand back etc". If that leads to a conversation about her not wanting the job, make it clear that you never wanted to do this permanently at this stage, and you are looking forward to learning how to run a department, as per the job you were employed to do.

    Or the other solution would be to embrace the situation and learn to be a good HoF instead of a good HoD. The situation that you described didn't seem to do you any damage, other than not being able to present data because you didn't know to prepare, so you could take on the job and shape it how you want it to go.
     

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