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Assistant head v deputy head

(9 Posts)
junkfoodaddict Wed 26-Nov-14 13:13:23

Nope, not a contest but would like to know the difference between the two roles.

I posted back in summer about how my head teacher had offered a role of assistant head teacher to a colleague at work (six years teaching experience, daughter of another colleague, only two years - 18 months active - on SLT) and another colleague complained. Well, four months later it seems the head has been 'told' that you cannot (illegally or immoral reasons, not sure) create a job for someone and offer it without giving others the opportunity to apply.

So it was announced at my school the other day that they are advertising for an assistant head teacher. The deputy head teacher will retire in the next two years and it is everyone's belief that the deputy will not be replaced and instead the head teacher will have an assistant head teacher.

So is there any difference between the two? Is one paid less and has less responsibilities than the other?

rollonthesummer Wed 26-Nov-14 13:17:24

We have both. They have different roles. The head sits in her office. The deputy sits in his office sending out emails and the 3 assistant heads have roles etc pupil premium/data analysis.

makeitabetterplace Wed 26-Nov-14 16:48:38

If the head goes on long term sick, quits quickly without replacement etc then the deputy is responsible for running the school. If the head is out for the day and something serious kicks off its on the deputies head. The assistant head does not have this responsibility. That's the basic difference. A deputy is allowed to exclude pupils and make high level decisions in the absence of the head, an assistant head is not. It's a scarier and lonelier role as when the sh hits the fan no one wants to take responsibility for making a decision, but the deputy has to if Horne head isn't there.

junkfoodaddict Thu 27-Nov-14 09:53:27

Asking because there is a dispute at my school.
The role of assistant head was offered (created for more likely) to a colleague. Another found out, complained because she wanted to go for it but the head teacher more or less said 'tough'. Many months later, turns out the job will now be advertised and interviews for potential candidates.

The teacher who was offered is the daughter of a colleague, six years teaching experience, only eight months SLT (been on the team for 18 months but has been on maternity leave) whereas the teacher who wanted it has more than ten years experience, been on SLT for a couple of years and also coordinator of many areas including behaviour so in a lot of people's eyes, more experienced than the colleague offered it.

Don't knock the teacher's ambition but still, there are people more experienced in teaching and SLT that could do the job better than what she could. There is a fear that the head is creating a SLT full of 'puppets' (young, cheap staff she can easily control and manipulate). Two staff already on SLT are actually very experienced and not afraid to air their views. One is retiring soon (deputy) and the other is the teacher who wanted the role.

makeitabetterplace Thu 27-Nov-14 17:02:44

Well, I feel rather sorry for this person. The staff sound snipey and jealous.

junkfoodaddict Thu 27-Nov-14 17:31:12

Nope, not smiley and jealous. But 90% of recruitments have been people that are known as family friends or relatives since the heads appointment and many (including a teaching position) have been done with no advertising or interviewing. The union are already on to it!
It is easy to think it is sniper and jealousy but when people aren't given the opportunity to progress because heads have already chosen their candidates, then in a tribunal, the people denied would most certainly win.
For the record, the teacher who was offered it, is actually a valued member of staff and nobody dislikes the person. Sadly that person is a product of the head's favouritism which quite rightly does not sit well with staff. Employment should be fair and just.

junkfoodaddict Thu 27-Nov-14 17:31:36

Snipey not smiley!!!

DontGotoRoehampton Thu 27-Nov-14 19:33:06

'Experience' is often offered as if it is unquestionably a good thing. However 'experience' sadly often just means time-serving. Having come to teaching later in life from industry, have been amazed at the complacency surrounding 'experience'
Recently in the TES an NQT asked why a colleague marked faster than her. He smirked, and answered 'experience' - as if that was an answer... He could have explained what he did, rather than offer a platitude.
Yes, by all means cite 'experience', but then go on to explain what has actually been learned from it, if there is more than just elapsed time in job hmm

junkfoodaddict Fri 28-Nov-14 12:56:31

Experience is important. Unfortunately the head teacher at my school had very little teaching and SLT experience before embarking on headships (she had just eight years teaching experience, two at deputy head level before getting her first headship). Sadly she has made a lot of 'rookie' mistakes (according to the deputy) and because she was 'fast-tracked' she hasn't actually acquired the people skills and the experience of dealing with others in middle management before embarking on a headship. Her last headship lasted just over a year before she moved here and unfortunately weeks later the school was put into special measures.
I am worried that the teacher offered the role of assistant head will find herself overwhelmed, over-worked and taken for granted as well as finding herself doing a job on the cheap (a lot more to this story but can't go into into it) She will certainly make a brilliant leader some day but she has a lot going against her at the moment. She is someone who moans and groans about the workload and has already let slip about her worries and concerns about going back to work (she has had time off) and teaching full time. She was supposed to be out of class completely but plans changed and she is going back into class very shortly.
Who knows what is going to happen but rumours at school are rife, certainly about the fact that the head's recruitment has been called into question.

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