Should I apply for an Assistant Headship 45 minutes from home?

(35 Posts)
ButterPopcorn Fri 15-Feb-13 12:18:13

Hi,

I am a primary teacher and SENCO (for which I have a TLR), and I live eight minutes from my current school (yep, that precise!) where I have been for two years. I've been teaching seven years altogether. I have seen a job advertised for September that I am interested in- it is still a SENCO post, but is also Assistant Head. I want to progress and feel ready for the next challenge in my career, and I also want to start thinking about starting a family in the next couple of years (getting married this year!) so I want to push myself to get as far as I can with my career before I have children so that if I then decide I want to drop some responsibilities once I have a family, I will always be able to say I'd reached that level, if you see what I mean.

However, the school where the Assistant Headship is advertised is 45 minutes away from home- I know I am totally spoiled/lucky with my current eight minute journey, and have previously had 45-50 minute journeys to work, and it is just such a drain on either side of your working day.

Again looking to the next couple of years when children come along, will a 45 minute journey just be too much? Should I stick with my current, nearby job to help ease work-life balance for when I have children, or push myself to promotion!?

Of course, this is all completely hypothetical because I may not even get short-listed/get through interview anyway!

Another thought that is also floating around is that this is quite early for jobs to be advertised for September and that something else could come up closer to home, and what if I applied and got this one 45 minutes away (long shot?!), and then saw one closer to home?! But then again, you can't live on "what ifs" because I could pass up this one and then nothing else could come up!

Argh! Any thoughts/advice greatly welcomed!

GW297 Wed 20-Feb-13 23:04:46

30 mins is my max journey time too! I resent the time spent in the car (and petrol) and the time added onto the working day as a result.

zingally Wed 20-Feb-13 18:25:00

My cut-off point has - and will always be - half an hour each way. I'm about to start a new post that is bang on 30 mins. Luckily it's a very easy journey, practically one dual carriage way the whole route. It would be much worse if it was 30 mins through a busy town centre for instance.

I've seen people do commutes of an hour+ each way. I'd hate that. I value my evenings too much.

zandy Sun 17-Feb-13 22:47:55

Or if you got the job you could move closer to it.

deleted203 Sun 17-Feb-13 22:44:39

Agree with nebulous that I don't mind the commute. I've spent the last 5 years commuting 40 minutes each way, and I like that, actually. I can spend the first 20 minutes winding down from school, mentally going over what I need to do the next day, etc - and then the next 20 mins thinking, 'Right - where the hell are all the DCs today? And what's for tea?'. I need that distance to separate school from home.

Worst job I ever had was 5 min drive from home. I'd arrive home still raging about what bottom set Y10 had done to wind me up last period!

WishIdbeenatigermum Sun 17-Feb-13 22:39:41

You're a good 18 months to 2 years away from the commute plus children being a problem. I'd not not apply on that basis alone. You're right about the chance of other posts coming along before though.

christinecagney Sun 17-Feb-13 22:21:29

Point taken Belinda Carlisle grin. Great name BTW.

GW297 Sun 17-Feb-13 01:29:17

Agree MrsShrek3 but definitely worth OP applying to see what happens. Some people seem to progress into management very quickly.

ButterPopcorn Sat 16-Feb-13 21:36:20

MrsShrek3 The Deputy at my last school (Primary with 250 on roll) was 26 and had been teaching 5 years when she came into post- she was brilliant too!

ButterPopcorn Sat 16-Feb-13 21:30:59

NobbyClark- Yes you can!

MrsShrek3 Sat 16-Feb-13 20:52:29

impressed that you can get an assistant head post with 7yrs teaching... wink sorry not being bitchy, just like wow. You couldn't in my area.

Inclusionist Sat 16-Feb-13 20:13:51

If you want SLT I would wait for a non teaching Inclusion Manager post to come up. This is what I have and I cannot imagine having a teaching commitment and being able to do my IM job well (caveat: I do work in a massive school).

I have a toddler but because I don't teach I can retain some element of work-life balance.

BrianButterfield Sat 16-Feb-13 14:00:30

45 mins is not an unknown commute at my secondary, even for people with kids. To live within 10/15 mins would mean living in the market town where we teach and it's not that appealing to live in the same small town where you work.

NobbyClark Sat 16-Feb-13 13:55:39

Ps can I pm you about being a SENCO!!!!!

NobbyClark Sat 16-Feb-13 13:54:52

Hhhm, my friend at work was the deputy head before she had children, then for a couple of years after. She has now given that up and is part time. She just couldn't keep all the balls in the air and she is my teaching idol, so capable and efficient.

I am doing it the other way round, am part time with my two dc, but am branching out and becoming the SENCO next year. (Which I am terrified about!)

But seriously, despite what other people say about sleeping on sofas etc, teaching is so so tiring, as is having small children. I would wait a few years till you have had kids and are coping with the normal day to day job of teaching. And if you at the maths coordinator I wonder if you are eligible for any more TLR points?

Also, could you ask your head about going on the UPS if you haven't already, seven years qualifies you as you should now be on m6? If not, and she agrees that you are working at that upper level, (as senco you should be) that should be a good hike in your salary?

BelindaCarlisle Sat 16-Feb-13 13:41:44

i must say Christine that that was good advice but sheesh its annoying when you have a SLT continually bringing in CV enhancing things so THEY can show how much they have improved things

its exhausting

ButterPopcorn Sat 16-Feb-13 13:37:24

Thanks for that christinecagney- interesting to have a Head's point of view. I know what you mean about being a firm candidate and would not apply unless I was definitely ready to take up the post.

christinecagney Sat 16-Feb-13 12:33:15

Sorry, that should be 'probably faster'.

christinecagney Sat 16-Feb-13 12:32:14

I am a HT and it's a real pain to interview people and offer a post and then have them say that the journey is too much etc etc. If you apply for other jobs then word can get round that you are unreliable, back out after the offer (a real no- no in teaching) etc etc.

It will make you look lightweight and under prepared to not have considered the journey before you apply IMHO.

Decide if you can do it, then apply.

My advice is skip Asst Ht, go straight for a DHT post this time next year. In the meantime take your HT's offer of a change in year group and heading up a core subjectto boost your experience. You career will move just as fast as if you went to a AHT post this year, and probably.

Key thing is for you to demonstrate impact on pupil outcomes as maths leader ...take a good baseline across the school this year, including pupil premium pupils as a discrete group, then show how you have improved the standards as maths leader. You can do this better where you are than if you move. Also 2 years is a bit too short in post, it's better to stay another year, I think.

GW297 Sat 16-Feb-13 12:20:35

Why not apply and see how you get on if you get an interview and then decide if you want to take it if you get to that point?! I personally would find a 45 min drive too far and too much in petrol but if it was for a job I loved in a great school I might be swayed. Good luck whatever you decide to do!

AViewfromtheFridge Sat 16-Feb-13 11:22:48

Good point, BelindaCarlisle (Now that's something I never thought I'd say).

A number of the teachers I work with have an hour-ish commute each way. Although it does obviously add to the time you're out of the house, the journey is a chance to reflect and put a bit of distance between home and school.

Go for it!

BelindaCarlisle Sat 16-Feb-13 11:14:36

The good thing about 45 m if you're promoted is that you won't bump into kids at home

ButterPopcorn Sat 16-Feb-13 09:18:03

Hmm yes the petrol costs... But the pay would be almost £10k more. I think Assistant Head isn't the kind of job you want to stay in and do long term, it's the job you do for two or three years before looking for Deputy Headships, which I could then look for closer to home?!

I suppose it really is coming down to career vs kids in a way- like should I put having children on hold for a couple of years to push my career forwards (don't really want to have to!) or should I start trying for children straight after my wedding and stay in my comfy nearby job without progressing (again- don't really want that either, am a bit bored to be honest, want the next challenge!). Lots of mitigating factors of course- whether I would actually get the job, possible as yet unknown fertility issues etc.

I am beginning to realise why there are so many male Primary Head Teachers, disproportionate to the otherwise female-heavy Primary teaching population!

orangeandlemons Sat 16-Feb-13 09:04:42

Everyone at my school who have kids live nearby (10-15mims). This includes the deputy heads, one of whom has moved to be nearer. This is a large secondary ( 250 staff).

Teaching is the most knack erring job on the earth, why would you want to add an journal a half to that? I'm wiped out after a day at school, and only live 5 mins away....

BelindaCarlisle Sat 16-Feb-13 09:00:17

Is it worth it? mind you. No kids ..
How much would petrol be a Week?

ButterPopcorn Sat 16-Feb-13 08:59:27

Ha ha thanks WishIwasanheiress! Maybe the kick up the backside I need? Do you know teachers who have 2 hour journeys, and do they have children of their own? Some people are amazing, I know I'm spoiled with my short journey- if I wanted to arrive and leave at the same time as I do now but had a 2 hour journey I would have to leave the house at 5.30am and would get home again at 7.30pm- yikes!

BelindaCarlisle- any reasons? The time/distance?

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