So, I've been at my current school for 8 years, with a year out for maternity leave. It's a small village primary which means I'm teacher for 2 year groups, subject leader for several subjects, school council, assistant DSP for safeguarding and to all intents and purposes senior teacher, although no extra pay for any of that. When the Dcs were littler I didn't want extra responsibility but now I'm finding it frustrating that the head doesn't consult or discuss anything with me even though I'm ups3, very experienced and expected to take on a leadership role in her absence.
I've been looking at a few jobs in larger schools with a tlr either for key stage lead or core subject lead, and I suppose I'm wondering - can that possibly entail that much more work than I'm doing now? I haven't worked in a big school since early in my career and I've forgotten what it's like.
We're a really small, close team BUT that makes it really hard if someone doesn't pull their weight and we have to wear so many hats. I think it's time for a change before I grow roots, but wonder if the pressures will be even more ridiculous in a large school.
Sorry for long post - does anyone have experience of making a similar move? How did it work out?
In secondary school you do work as hard and there is definitely a lot of pressure but with fewer general hats and more administration support.
Eg you wouldn't be subject lead for several subjects and there would be pastoral managers etc.
I would look at moving. 8 years with a head who doesn't communicate that well would drive me mad!
I did something very similar, although I'd only been at the small school for a couple of years. I'm now at a 1 form entry primary and it's so, so, so much easier. Obviously you need to choose your school with your eyes open, but the simple fact of having 1 year group not 2 has improved my life beyond measure. Having colleagues to talk to and bounce ideas off is still a novelty over a year later. In the small school (105 children), I led all the foundation subjects, did school council and anything and everything else that came up. I'm now an assistant head, and even though I'm leading 2 subjects and have responsibility for 2 phases, the workload doesn't even come close to what I was doing at the tiny school.
I wouldn't want to be anywhere bigger than 2 form entry and 1 form entry suits me just fine. I loved the family ethos and everyone knowing everyone at the 1/2 form entry school, but the sheer lack of anyone else to do anything just ground me down.
Also, a very wise person I once worked with swore blind that if you wanted an easier life you should change schools. I queried this with her, as surely it's easier to stay where you know everyone and all the systems, resources etc than to be starting from scratch somewhere new. Her answer was that the longer a stone stays in one place, the more moss it gathers. The longer you stay in one school, the more little jobs/bits and pieces you pick up. In a new school, you won't have any of that (at least to start with).
That's really interesting - thanks for the perspective. It's definitely true that I've gathered more moss! It seems at every performance management meeting I gain a new responsibility but never lose any in exchange.
I think I've missed the boat for this September really since I can't resign before May 31st with no job to go to. Dh is also changing job so it's better the devil you know whilst we get him settled. I've also agreed to mentor an NQT in September so feel I owe it to the school to see that through.
However...I'm definitely planning my exit strategy for next year. Can't spend a decade at the same school!
So, what should I be asking my HT for this year to be highly employable next year? I'm a bit worried I'll be up against much more career minded people 10 years younger than me.
I think two form entry is perfect.
Year group partner to share planning with, phase leader jobs are quite important as it's several year groups and usually assistant headships available too. More resources and options for intervention, specialist staff etc.
However, I have worked in a four form entry and I would never, ever do that again. IMO you lose all the good things about being in Primary. It becomes corporate and soulless because people just don't know each other- year groups become islands and implementing a whole school initiative is a nightmare. I worked there 3 years (on SLT) and didn't know all the support staff's names.
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