Admiration for this headteacher for putting children first

(53 Posts)
MillyDLA Fri 15-Apr-16 21:29:16

www.theguardian.com/education/2016/apr/15/primary-school-head-durham-quits-profession-tory-academy-policy?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Facebook

Well done to him for speaking out.

ChalkHearts Sat 16-Apr-16 07:16:42

In what way is he putting children first? I can't see how him resigning helps the children in his school at all.

If he was putting children first he would have stayed and continued to make the best school he could.

AllPowerfulLizardPerson Sat 16-Apr-16 07:48:23

No, I can't see how this puts the children first.

Especially as the policy isn't in action yet, and he's just guessing what might lie in the future for his school.

A very premature gesture, and only a gesture, that takes an apparently successful teacher away from his school when there isn't even a glimmer of a timetable for its conversion.

MATs aren't inherently wrong-headed, so perhaps there are already irons in the fire locally already and he knows he cannot work with the lead candidate? In which case, he should perhaps have said so, but of course that would a) be unprofessional and b) be unrelated to latest policy announcements.

mrz Sat 16-Apr-16 09:15:26

Living a few minutes away from this school it's highly unlikely there are any plans locally to force the school to become part of a MAT. We have a strong effective LEA and heads, teachers and parents don't see any advantage to "fixing something that isn't broken".

MillyDLA Sat 16-Apr-16 21:45:01

Reading his full letter his reasons weren't just about academisation though. He also talks about the system and the effect on children. The education system is currently a mess and as much as we try and believe me we do our very best, the system he is getting out of doesn't put children first.

mrz Sat 16-Apr-16 21:50:06

While I don't think walking away is the answer I can understand his reasons and sadly don't think he will be the only head or teacher to decide enough is enough.

throwingpebbles Sat 16-Apr-16 21:50:48

It seems very attention seeking to me. The school will need a new head teacher now, v unsettling. Better to stay and campaign for change imo

BoneyBackJefferson Sat 16-Apr-16 21:52:35

mrz
Living a few minutes away from this school it's highly unlikely there are any plans locally to force the school to become part of a MAT.

It doesn't matter what the local plans are, it will be an academy by 2020

mrz Sat 16-Apr-16 22:21:03

But it's unlikely AllpowerfulLizardPersons idea that the head is leaving because of current plans.

PonderingProsecco Sun 17-Apr-16 09:34:48

I wonder re academisation of all schools by 2020....
Back peddling happened before.

PrettyBrightFireflies Sun 17-Apr-16 09:43:14

If he's resigned as a 'statement' rather than for personal reasons, I hope he's willing to fund the recruitment process for a new HT - it can be crippling on the budget of small schools. Advertising, HR support, LA involvement, governor training. I think the NGA estimates £3-5000 direct and indirect costs.

Can't see how that's putting the DCs first, really.

mrz Sun 17-Apr-16 09:59:19

Fortunately the school is in a strong LEA and possibly a member of Schools North East so won't face those kinds of costs.

PrettyBrightFireflies Sun 17-Apr-16 10:31:44

Apologies mrz - I didn't know that Schools North East had expanded to provide direct services to schools, now.

When I last had dealings with them, they didn't have the capacity to deliver directly and instead used their buying power to negotiate competitive rates with private service providers.

I'm not sure what the strength of the LA has to do with costs, though - Hants is one of the best Education LAs in the country but they still operate a recharge policy for HT recruitment services.

mrz Sun 17-Apr-16 10:50:29

LEA support and governor training adverising are provided at no additional cost and SNE have a job site

TitaniumSpider Sun 17-Apr-16 10:54:02

That's putting himself first and not the children, if he wanted to put them first he would stay and make the school as good as he could on the limited budget that heads have.

PrettyBrightFireflies Sun 17-Apr-16 11:03:30

mrz Thst should make it easier for the school to recruit a new HT, at least.
The HTs I work with in the south of England dispair of the charges that the LAs are now passing on to schools - I think many of them would be willing to relocate in order to remain in the profession without those additional demands on their budgets.

It does seem that the way in which LAs handle funding varies hugely from LA to LA - what was it about the issues locally that this HTi objected to particularly, do you know?

BoneyBackJefferson Sun 17-Apr-16 11:03:36

PrettyBrightFireflies
"If he's resigned as a 'statement' rather than for personal reasons, I hope he's willing to fund the recruitment process for a new HT"

Why should he fund anything, even if he is leaving as a statement, he is doing what many people suggest, don't like the terms and conditions then leave.

Or is this just another stick to try and beat teachers with?

PrettyBrightFireflies Sun 17-Apr-16 11:17:25

Not at all boney - the OP says he's done it for the good of the pupils but that can only be the case if the consequences of him leaving (financial and otherwise) are outweighed by the benefits for the DCs.

I'm not sure I see any benefits (it's highly unlikely that Governement policy will change as a direct result of his action) but the consequences on the DCs is significant and the financial pressure caused by the recruitment process may be one of them.
I've known of governing bodies which have had to restructure and make redundancies in order to fund HT recruitment processes.

BoneyBackJefferson Sun 17-Apr-16 11:32:08

I suspect that part of the statement is the difficulty in recruiting heads to schools.

But how the replacement process is funded is nothing to do with him. If a school, whether LEA or Academy is unable to fund the search for a replacement head or teacher I would be more concerned about the financial condition of the school.

(it's highly unlikely that Governement policy will change as a direct result of his action)
That doesn't mean that he has to put up with it.

I'm not sure I see any benefits but the consequences on the DCs is significant and the financial pressure caused by the recruitment process may be one of them.

this could be said of any replacement teacher or head.

PrettyBrightFireflies Sun 17-Apr-16 12:09:31

That doesn't mean that he has to put up with it.

Well of course not, no teacher does - but it can't be argued that they are putting the DCs ahead of their own feelings in that case, can it?

BoneyBackJefferson Sun 17-Apr-16 13:28:54

but it can't be argued that they are putting the DCs ahead of their own feelings in that case, can it?

Why not? If staying means being half hearted about the job and not giving the children 100% of your ability, then you are thinking of the children.

mrz Sun 17-Apr-16 13:34:37

The difficulty with recruiting a head teacher is that no one with any sense wants to take on the role under present conditions the stress level is horrendous!

PrettyBrightFireflies Sun 17-Apr-16 13:42:09

If staying means being half hearted about the job and not giving the children 100% of your ability, then you are thinking of the children.

Absolutely! Sadly, very few teachers have the resources to give up their job because they know they're no longer giving the DCs the commitment and passion they deserve.

mrz Sun 17-Apr-16 14:39:09

I think the data suggests teachers aren't worrying about resources they are walking for the sake of their health.

PrettyBrightFireflies Sun 17-Apr-16 16:08:27

The letter that the OP refers to is written as a resignation by the HT on the grounds of principle rather than personal welfare.

If he has resigned due to his health, and that is widely known, then the publication of his letter by a parent must be quite embarrassing for him.

Taken at face value, the letter implies he is quitting because he disagrees with the direction that the government is taking with the education system.
I can't see how that can be interpreted as "putting the DCs first". Of course, if there are other reasons - health, motivation etc, then that is different and both he, his staff team, and the DCs will benefit from a change in school leadership.

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