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Non-teaching Heads of Year

(9 Posts)
echt Tue 17-Feb-15 06:16:13

When I left the UK, these were just on the horizon. Does anyone have any experience of working in a secondary school with this system, either as a NTHOY or as a teacher in such a school?

MaraThonbar Tue 17-Feb-15 08:43:23

I don't know of any qualified teachers who are non-teaching heads of year, but I have worked in a couple of schools with pastoral managers who do not teach, and are not teachers. They are generally assigned to a house or year group and work alongside a teaching HOH or HOY.

ChampagneTastes Tue 17-Feb-15 08:51:56

We've got them. We're a large secondary and they are invaluable. They have basically removed all pastoral responsibility from the teachers meaning that we can focus on teaching and learning. We also have Heads of House who focus on intervention for students who require support across the board (rather than just in one subject).

echt Tue 17-Feb-15 09:43:53

Thanks for this. What I'd like to know is does it work well, or do you get teaching/non-teaching staff divisions? Are they paid less than teaching HOY would have done in the past?

MaraThonbar Tue 17-Feb-15 11:24:33

Yes, IME they are paid less. Teaching HOY would get mainscale + TLR. The pastoral manager roles I've encountered aren't necessarily graduate jobs and this is reflected in the pay. A graduate with relevant experience might argue for a bit more.

The primary benefit is that non-teaching staff can respond almost instantly to emergencies, see parents, attend meetings off-site etc without the disruption of cover. However, there are a few risks:

- some teachers IME have a tendency to kick all behaviour problems upstairs and not follow issues through. Your systems need to be carefully planned to ensure that the relevant teacher remains associated with the process, and with any sanctions issued.
- it can be hard for non-teachers to empathise with the issues and emotions around challenging behaviour in the classroom, and the pastoral managers have to be very sensitive to this. There can sometimes be an (unfair) perception from teaching staff that the non-teachers are too chummy with the pupils, and from the non-teachers that the teachers are unreasonable. Again, this relationship needs to be carefully managed.

Hope this is helpful. On the whole, I've found that non-teaching pastoral managers can provide very cost-effective capacity in schools with a lot of challenging behaviour.

echt Tue 17-Feb-15 16:04:06

Thanks, Mara.

ElleMcFearsome Tue 17-Feb-15 19:36:38

I'm a Year Manager (non teaching - I'm not a teacher!) and I work alongside a teaching HOY. As mentioned above, I do all the pastoral/attendance stuff for the year I work with (currently 8 but we remain with our year until they leave), as well as a lot of the data crunching/paperwork. My HOY is bloody amazing and we make a good team. She has a pretty full teaching load, so whilst the buck nominally stops with her, we're a team. Every year has a HOY and a YM, years 12 & 13 have one who oversees the 6th form.

I don't think there are particular teaching/non-teaching divisions. I'm hugely aware that I have no experience/knowledge within a classroom setting, other than what I've seen sitting in on lessons when I'm observing a student within my year (NOT observing the teacher!) and I have no desire to be a teacher. Certainly the relationship between HOYs and YMs is good, as is our relationship with SLT. I have a good relationship with all the teachers (as far as I know) and I am very aware that when I leave the building, I basically leave work. I have huge respect for the teaching staff -I'm wrecked by the time I go home and I couldn't mark if my life depended on it.

I can't comment on whether this system means that teachers kick stuff upstairs as I've only ever worked within our structure. Year Office stuff is used when the usual systems (HoD etc) have been exhausted and whilst there are a few staff who want to hand everything over to the YO straight away, we manage this.

It also means, as previously mentioned, that I'm on call to address issues when they arise and means that when the HOY finishes in class, she gets the information in her hand and can then make decisions based on this, rather than having to charge around school speaking to students. It also means that parents can call the year office when it suits them and means that we can forge good relationships with parents - even if they want to speak to the HOY I can usually get the gist of what the problem is so the HOY returns that call a bit prepared, rather than just returning a voicemail message from a parent asking her to call them back.

I also believe that it can help get on top of low level stuff with the students. They're reasonably happy to come and let me know what's going on so, for instance, we can nip the bullying in the bud in the early days.

I could write a book about how much I love my job and how I can't imagine doing anything else. However, I would like to be clear that I don't earn anything approaching a teaching salary, so I get all the nice bits, but equally, I don't get paid for the tough stuff smile

Callooh Wed 18-Feb-15 19:59:56

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

ravenAK Wed 18-Feb-15 20:11:37

we have this - with very variable results.

One of ours has a tendency to just breezily announce 'Oh I've moved Josh to set 2 for English; he doesn't get on with Mrs Bloggs'. Doesn't seem to matter how often it is explained that she cannot do this (set 2 might be troublesome/being taught by a non-specialist supply all term due to staff shortages, & anyway, the work isn't pitched at anything like a level Josh can access, & anyway, it's not her call or Josh's or Josh's mum's).

She'll nod, smile, & turn up next week with another child who has moaned to her about Mr Smith '...so she's coming in your group...' 'No, she's not, not until my HOD says so, & we'll be discussing it first' 'But...' 'NO.' <child is peering round her, gurning at the rest of your class as you have this conversation>.

Another can't chair a meeting, bursts into tears if her team of form tutors challenge her decisions & accuses them of bullying her.

The other three are great, but it's a tough job, & the salary available doesn't always attract stellar candidates IME...

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