1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded education professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

Youngest deputy head....?

Discussion in 'Senior Leadership Team' started by teacher242, Jul 4, 2008.

  1. bluesofa

    bluesofa New commenter

    This keeps cropping up doesn't it? I keep wondering: if experience isn't important and talent and ability are what it's all about, why do posters keep asking the question?
  2. NicoleK

    NicoleK New commenter

    Someone was appointed at a first school local to me 2 years after finishing NQT. He was 25.

    My colleague has just been appointed at the age of 27 after 7 years teaching experience.

    I have only had older and more experienced deputies so I can't comment on the differences really.
  3. refering to the above post: how can it be possible to have 7 years teaching experience at the age of 27?

    As to comments made by JAMES: no it is not easier being deputy (or HT) in a smaler primary than in a larger (Ive leadership done jobs in all these types of schools) if anything working in a smaller school is more difficult as there are less people to take on the roles and more pressure to take on more teaching responsibility. In my current school the DHT is senco, Numercay, and many other things. In my previous school the DH didn't coordinate a subject as there were lots of other staff who were able to do it.

    I go my first deputy post at 29. I'd had 7 years experience. Someone once commented 'you were very young - but it was only in small school wasn't it?'!!!! Obviously people who make these type of comments have not had enough experience. Working in a small / large school is not harder / easier its just different.
  4. I am a deputy who had previous management experience but had only been a teacher fo 5 years when appointed-No disasters and I believe total success (backed by oustanding inspection).
    I currently work with two truly excellent, competent, outstanding NQT's who, despite their young age could easily be school leaders within a couple of years.

    Age is only a number! Some teachers teach for twenty years and still don't have the ability to lead, inspire, motivate and have a truly clear vision for moving a school forward.

    Just my opinion!
  5. Actually I think there is a difference between small and large schools though I take the point about leaders in small schools having a wider range of responsibilities as I've worked in both, though always secondary. Large schools, are, however, much more complex as organisations and do require greater maturity and experience in many cases for leadership roles. I was a second in a core subject at 25, Head of Department at 30, Deputy in a very large school at 35, Head at 40 of a small secondary, and at 47 Head of a larger secondary. I'm now in my early 50s and beginning to get tired though I still enjoy the job. My very experienced Deputy (retiring this year) says to me"If you're good enough, you're old enough" and I agree. We are very flexible in our attitude to promotions both internal and external; we simply want the person who can do the job for us, whether 25 or 55!
  6. davidmu

    davidmu Occasional commenter

    Any sane person would realise that there is a huge difference between being a HT or DHT in a very large secondary school and a similar role in a village primary school of 100 pupils.
    An excellent secondary nearby interviewed twice for a HT and though interviewing 12 existing heads over two periods of two days still did not appoint. The right experience is crucial to lead a school of 1500 pupils and in excess of 100 staff.
  7. "As to comments made by JAMES: no it is not easier being deputy (or HT) in a smaler primary than in a larger (Ive leadership done jobs in all these types of schools) if anything working in a smaller school is more difficult as there are less people "

    I read this thread with interest and tend to agree with avidmu and clodia. I think making the above statement of itself is a little concerning in someone in a leadership role.
  8. BlondeBimbo29

    BlondeBimbo29 New commenter

    Just found out someone I trained with (graduated in 2000) is a head teacher in a fair sized primary. He's either 29 or 30.
  9. do you think young and inexperienced people are easier to mould and are therefore more likely to adapt one of the reasons why they are appointed?
  10. I`m 39 was appointed a deputy 2 years ago at 37 after 5 years teachers , including 2 years as assistant head teacher. my life skills and previous experience and determination and personality and ability to see the big picture helped. but everyone always has more to learn.
    i have just spent a year acting head in a big primary school , at 12 hours notice, and done a good job, after taking over fomr a head of 14 years who has taight for 33 years and was **** and a bully bully bully.
    so its swings and roundabouts.
    I wouldnt criticise either route but i would criticise not thinking flexibly
  11. Candyfloss

    I believe that it is important for deputies to lead rather than adapt. I don't think they should be easily moulded.
  12. At my previous school the head appointed a deputy with only 2 years teaching experience, he now has four years teaching experience and is a head!
  13. ploughlane

    ploughlane New commenter

    I think the size of the school has a big influence over the time required to be DHT/HT. In September I will be leading more people as the head of a large science faculty than my son's headteacher. I'm going to be starting my 5th year including GTP in September.
  14. Just looking at another thread in pay and employment, it maybe that more experienced teachers can't afford to become deputy heads and head teachers of some schools because the position on the leadership spine is so close to the payments on UPS. In this case schools will have no choice but to employ people who have less than six years experience.
  15. In my school there is an assistant head who has taught at the school in the same year group (primary) for 18 years. There is an AST who is 27 and has had far more experience in the few years she has been teaching (has worked in 2 schools). I would back her 100% to be the new deputy head over the assitant head, she has had more experience, more approachable, nicer person (I know that doesnt make someone a good leader or not on its own!), does what she says she is going to and can be relied upon to get it done, supports the staff, v. respected by the staff and kids and parents, knows her stuff, is outstanding (HMI / OFSTED) and in the few years she has taught is a far better manager / teacher than the assistant head. I strongly beleve age doesnt matter, its how well you can do the job. Some people have 'it' and she is one of them.
  16. She may have more varied experience, but you cannot say that she has more experience than the other Assistant head. It simply does not make sense.
  17. Someone may have worked more years, but if they have not grown and developed they have not necessarily got more experience - I know of many 'experienced' colleagues who have got one or two years experience which has been repeated 20 times over.
  18. *Sigh*

    The do actually have 'more' experience, because more is a word which compares quantity, no quality.

    You might argur that someone with *less* experience has richer or broader or mary varied experience, but you cannot argue that they have 'more'.

    There are some dynamic people with little experience who will make good leaders - I would argue that until they have enough experience, wisdom and maturity they will not do the job as well as they should. Without meaning to offend anyone who has posted here (as it is a general observation and not targeted at you), sometimes there is an arrogance to young middle managers that alienates others.

    There can be a tendency to see themselves as the most innovative teachers and see new initiatives as the holy grail. I have seen people like this dismiss older colleagues (excellent teachers, btw) because they teach in an 'old fashioned' way, even when it works.

  19. westie04,

    I've played more football matches than Wayne Rooney. He has played for England. I have played for the Dog and Duck. Who has more experience? He has played in front of 90,000 people. The most I have ever played against is 9. But I have still played more times than him. Would you still seriously argue that I have more experience than him as a player?

    I'm lucky enough to play cricket with a couple of county pros on Saturdays when it's not raining. I have played the game for longer than they have been alive. They know far more about it than I do becuase they have far more experience than me. One game of first class sport is worth 100 matches at a poor level.

    One of the dictionary definitions I have to hand says: ''accumulated knowledge'' - I would contest that it is possible to accumulate that knowldege quicker based on the quality of that experience.

  20. kevgeall

    kevgeall New commenter

    I completely agree with Waysie.

    Experience is not a *duration*. You cannot measure it in years. I can see how people use it as a ball park for *guessing* how much someone has achieved, based on what they are *likely* to have packed into that time. This is completely unreliable, of course. Some colleagues who have been teaching for 4 terms have been passed as ASTs and we all know people who have been teaching for decades who might struggle to attain QTS these days. I happen to think Leadsrship is down to values and skills and while you can develop the latter, the former is largely innate and some people will always struggle at it.

    To echo a previous poster: I think the profession should operate as a meritocracy; if you're good enough you're good enough.

    Just my £0.02

Share This Page