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Youngest deputy head....?

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

  1. I would agree that age does not automatically endow you with the ability to manage and lead. However, I would also observe that nobody admits to be ing **** at their job. There are lots of posts on this board from relatively young people and not one of them concedes that they might not have the experience to do the job. Indeed, given the nature of the job I'm surprised they have time to read and post on this board. My experience of senior management is that a high percentage are not up to the job and that many are just fooling themselves. The fact that you have attained a position does not make you competent. I'm afraid that judgement is for others to make.
     
  2. Hey I think I'm in with a chance of winning here!

    Just appointed as DH of an infant and nursery school and am 25! Trouble is I start in January and will be 26 then! Does this scupper my chances of winning!?
    Hey ho! Who really cares as long as you do the job with great competency, skill, thoughtfulness and dedication! As long as the children, parents and staff are happy you're doing a great job in my eyes!
     
  3. Probably get younger and with less experience as the new initiative is to offer Free Management / Leadership training to all NQT's within the first 5 years of qualifying! Here's one way of dealing with Head Teacher shortage; Not. What about those who would want training beyond the six year teaching stage? Where's the equality in the profession gone?
     
  4. I went into the profession having specifically considered what my career progression would be like- I think this is true of many young teachers. I aspire to headship. This doesn't have to be ambition at the expense of dedication and vocation though. I think most interviewing panels can tell the difference between someone who is motivated by their desire to impact on children's lives and those who have ambition for ambitions sake.
    Well done to those who have recently made deputy head - whatever age!
     
  5. Some might be able to, but not all. Some people can talk the talk, but experience counts for a lot.
     
  6. anon2799

    anon2799 New commenter

    My deputy headship was in my 4th school. I'd already dine a term as acting head in another school and had a secondment. I'd been a senco, assessment co ordinator, led 2 different key stages, taught in all 3, been literacy, ict, music, early years, key stage one and numeracy co ordinator. I'd also set up and run a probate breakfast club in one of my schools, getting funding and drawing up a business plan. I'd also been teacher governor in 2 schools. I was 27.
     
  7. anon2799

    anon2799 New commenter

    Ipad typo for probate read private.

    I would add that I really served my time as a deputy, 6 years in one school and 5 in a totally different school. I'm glad I did. When I took on a failing school as a head, with all sorts of difficulties and illegalities, it didn't phase me at all. If I'd rushed the deputy head stage I'd have had a breakdown.
     
  8. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    Don't rush into it, folks, please don't. It's a shockingly long time that some of you are apparently planning to be in the most stressful and dangerous (in career terms) of jobs.
    Take your time and collect the wide range of experience and expertise you need to do the job well. lack of experience can lead to tragedy.
     
  9. I was appointed DHT when I was 25 and started the job just after my 26th birthday. I moved schools for this job so it was an external appointment. I'm female and in primary and there were older women also up for this job. I do sometimes think I'm a bit young to be DHT (I'm the youngest teacher in the school) but I love it and it is going well.
     
  10. Hurrah for Middlemarch! As usual she's put her finger on the most important point: if you are headteacher at 25, you could well have 40 years in the job. I'm in a school with a headteacher who has been there 25 years - I'm not sure it's been the right thing for him let alone the school based on his health!
     
  11. 45 with 10 years teaching.
    I really think the experience I had before coming into teaching has been the most valuable to me in my leadership role - and by that I mean leading as a HEad of Dept, Head of year etc. I believe you need to have 'lived' to understand where the kids, parents and staff are coming from. I totally agree with Middlemarch - take your time! Life really is too short and what will you do when you get to your 40's and are burnt out and cannot retire for another 25 years?
    It is not about how long you have been teaching but more about personality, life experience and the ability to be humble and recognise you don't actually know everything - regardless of your age!
     
    henrypm0 likes this.
  12. fairport

    fairport New commenter

    I've only been a HT for a year, but am glad I took the 'slow route' to get here. 6 years as a class teacher, 3 years as AHT (big primary), 5 years as DHT (2 different schools - 3 years & 2 years) and then finally HT at 39 years old. This is over 5 schools and includes a year of special measures.

    The range of schools I've worked in, the range of staff I've worked with (and the number of Ofsteds I've had to put up with!) have helped me gain an understanding of what is required to successfuly lead a school. The knowledge and skills I've developed over 15 years make me confident in doing my job. I wouldn't have this with only a few years under my belt.
     
  13. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    Fairport, I couldn't have put it better. Headship is definitely not a job for the young and inexperienced, in my opinion.
     
  14. frymeariver

    frymeariver New commenter

    Absolutely correct! I do sometimes think that there are too many people chasing the next promotion without thinking of the consequences. I am not talkign about the issue of whether the appointment of young deputies is a disaster for the school - if you are good enough you are old enough - but headship for 40 years just doesn't bear thinking about.
    I was assistant head in the most (league table) successful school in the county (NOR 2000) after 8 years of teaching and two HOD posts, but deliberately put the brakes on to gain more varied experience: I moved to a second assistant headteacher post and did 5 years in that post followed by another 3 as deputy headteacher (including a year as acting headteacher) and NOW I feel ready to move onto headship with the knowledge and experience I need to make a success of it.
    Personally, I have found that I have gained a lot from experiencing a range of diffciult situations alongside an experienced headteacher and learning how to deal with them. This is what I think some younger leaders might have missed out on: they often face difficult situations for the first time on their own.
     
  15. anon2799

    anon2799 New commenter

    Totally agree with you fry. When I left my first deputy headship after 6 years, a few people wondered why it wasn't for headship. Some actually asked why I was making a sideways move.

    I wanted to experience the role in a totally different setting and learn a new set of skills from a different headteacher. I am so glad I did.
    Had I faced the challenges of becoming a head in a failing school after that first dh role, I wouldn't have handled them as well as I did. Working alongside 2 very different, experienced heads as a deputy gave me lots of opportunity to learn. I really felt ready for the challenge of headship when I finally made the move.

    I also feel that taking my time at DH level meant that I built up a really good network of ht friends through some of the support work I did in other schools. Headship is a lonely job and it's good to be able to call upon another head and ask for advice etc.
     
  16. I am 27 and have just been appointed after 5 years of teaching - and boy, it's the hardest thing I've ever done! I don't regret the move (most of the time!) but have no intention of moving to headship for a VERY long time! So much to learn and take in as it is-and I see what my head goes through on a day to day basis!!
     
  17. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    I suspect this is more true of primary than secondary, however - experience is vital in secondary unless you want to kill your career by rising too fast and bombing out.
     
  18. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    Sheeesh! At 38, with 15 years experience in a variety of schools and settings, I'm looking for my first AH/DH role.
    I'm now wondering if I am too old and past it!
     
  19. The two people I have seen desperate to rise up the ranks ASAP I would describe as dangerous... Make radical changes without first wondering if the staff are capable of embracing them and if they even are on board with them and the move on leaving slow and steady to pick up the pieces.
     
  20. Totally agree!! Have UPS teachers who will not lead a core subjec or take on additional responsibility.
     

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