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New head and unpleasant changes

(16 Posts)
bigbuttons Wed 22-Feb-17 18:37:27

Has anyone had a new head in their school and had things change for the worse?
I have loved working at my present school for the last 5 years, but we have had a new head since September and I don't recognise the place. I feel so sad that everything I have have worked for and valued seems to have come to nothing and I have to think hard about whether I want to stay there.
Would appreciate hearing others' experiences of a change in leadership.

fortyfourfeasts Thu 23-Feb-17 19:09:44

Hi, yes have been in this situation. I think you have to weigh up the pros of where you are, the staff, the children, proximity to home etc. If it is only the head that is the issue, then it might be worth riding it out. I left when a new head arrived, but I was ready for a change anyway. I'm still in contact with some staff who stayed, and things did settle - or perhaps they just accepted how things were!
At another school when a new head arrived, it was odd for a while, but the job was very convenient so I didn't really want to move on. After a while, I accepted the changes were ok, if a little 'off', relaxed my frustrations and was quite happy.
I sympathise. It's not easy.

mrsBeverleygoldberg Thu 23-Feb-17 19:17:19

I stopped teaching a few years ago, but yes to new broom... The school lost its heart. It was awful watching it go down the tubes. The new head hid in his office, pic bullshit and targeted members of staff to get rid of., mainly the ones who got on well with the old head. I left to have ds1 and came back as a supply teacher about 5 years later and a 'satisfactory' school was going into special measures. After the new head left on permanent sick leave they couldn't get a head to replace him. It was awful. One of the best teachers I've ever come across was labelled a failing teacher but when they got a new job at a different school they were found to be outstanding. Good luck!

Pud2 Sun 26-Feb-17 16:55:00

I think you need to decide how long term a problem it is. Is it just a case of the new head doing things a bit differently? Change is always tricky but it will feel different with a new person, even if they make very minimal changes. Will it just settle down as you get used to them and they get used to you? Or, has your new head made major changes which you don't agree with? If this is the case then you may be better off leaving. Just remember though that leaving and starting at another school is also a change and you may not like some things in your new school too.

bigbuttons Sun 26-Feb-17 17:37:57

Thank you for your thoughts.
The one thing that I really loved about my school was its relaxed attitude and pastoral care. It was a quirky/different place. A place that children hated leaving, a place that they were proud to be a part of.
I am sure if I stayed that I would get used to it. It's hard to get used to being observed once a year to everyone being observed every term, so six times a year. People used to to laugh a lot in the staff room, now they barely speak.

onthelevel Sun 26-Feb-17 17:49:27

I was in a similar situation to what you have described. A new head was appointed who from the start had a very set agenda to change the school to her way of thinking with little or no discussion.
The only teachers who were valued were recently appointed members of staff, gradually over time the more experienced teachers left as it became increasingly difficult to work in such a toxic atmosphere. This seems to be the norm from what I've heard, my advise would be to move.

viques Sun 26-Feb-17 18:09:47

I feel the pain. At my last school I had high hopes for the new head as she, on paper, seemed to be the sort of person who would move things on in a positive way by taking on board and acknowledging the strengths and working on the weaknesses.

Day 1. Inset. She introduced her 'vision' for the school which apparently involved destroying all the good stuff that the previous head HAD managed to achieve ( very strong music and sports ethos throughout the school - she felt this would impinge on 'learning time' so wanted all the instrumental tuition, orchestra and whole school choir work to be relegated to after school and the specialist pe teaching to stop) At the 11.00 coffee break I went over, introduced myself and told her I was leaving at decision I ever made.

Pud2 Sun 26-Feb-17 18:10:45

I think the other thing to consider is that some of the changes may have been put in place because the school wasn't actually doing all the things it was meant to. OFSTED requirements have changed a lot and the new head may just be making sure the school is meeting all requirements. It may also be that the head is observing more as they need to get to know the teachers' teaching abilities so they can be developed. That may not be the case, just a thought!

bigbuttons Sun 26-Feb-17 19:20:56

Our last head was also an Ofsted inspector, so she knew what she was doing. I also know that she sailed close to the wind and I am sure that new head is doing stuff that old head was supposed to do. For example we have only just started wearing the cursed name tags and signing in.

On new head's first inset she introduced and talked about herself for an hour. She said she would be visible. She was for the first term, now I hardly see her.
This is herattitude though: Last week I asked if I could leave 10 mins early to go to some FREE inservice training at a local school( after school hours, so end of day). I get no CPD so sourced this for myself. I filled in the bloody forms and explained that I would be doing something beneficial for the school. I needed no cover. They let me go but docked my pay. Her attitude was "I never asked you to go on a course".

I have given days of unclaimed /incidental good will over- time over the years.

Pud2 Sun 26-Feb-17 19:30:39

That does sound rather harsh, and a big change from what you're used to.

Astro55 Mon 27-Feb-17 01:35:31

The lack of trust is appalling - no teacher I've ever met has minded doing additional hours - trips sports clubs lunch clubs parents meetings etc YET time and time again I see this petty form filling for a few minutes 'leave' it really does get backs up! Hence the wonder why teachers go down the work to rule route -

bigbuttons Mon 27-Feb-17 06:35:23

Last year there wouldn't have been a problem. Well, I'll keep my eyes open, see what else is around. I don't think I'm the only one who's looking.

VintagePerfumista Mon 27-Feb-17 06:44:39

A difficult one....but "relaxed attitude" "quirky" and "sailed close to the wind" aren't necessarily accolades for the old head, are they?

I adored our old head. He was hands on, always out there in the corridor, talking to the kids, to us. He would also shout and bawl in staff meetings, reduced colleagues to tears in front of others, and did nothing to bring the school into the 21st century.

We got a new head 2 yrs ago. I've seen her about 4 times apart from when she is in the papers, or on the local telly talking about initiatives that the school is participating in. Like BB's head, she talks about herself. A lot. Under her there have been 4 foreign language exchanges and an All Night Long when the school was open, yes, you guessed, all night long and the entire town participated in various things from plays, songs, dancing, debates on the Bataclan (it was around that time) etc etc.

Do I like her? Nope.
Hand on heart, do I like change? Not much, but more than the colleagues who are in their late 50s and have been at the school almost 30 years.
Is she good for the school? Absolutely.

KittyVonCatsington Mon 27-Feb-17 06:55:11

Yes has happened to me. Resulted in a mass exodus of staff including me. School now mostly full of NQTs that say 'yes' to the Head hmm

Lara2 Sun 05-Mar-17 21:30:10

I'm in this situation - new head has knocked the caring and heart out of the school in half a term. I'm worried about my job security - UPS, expensive. Our budget is shot - I do PPA cover and support a specific year group. I've been doing this role for 3 years now. I absolutely do not want whole class responsibility again - it's on the cards if someone leaves. The new head is using LSA's for cover more often than not - if no-one leaves I'm worried about being made redundant, if they do leave I'm worried about having class responsibility again. I want to leave, but can't afford a pay cut (DH is disabled and unable to work). Arrgghhh!

samlovesdilys Sun 05-Mar-17 21:45:42

First thing - Keep a record of things that happen. This will help you see if it just 'feels' like a lot or it really is. Support other staff, look after each other and don't allow you to be 'picked off' or forced into competition. If it gets really bad (and it can) go to governors, stress how you are worried for the school and its pupils. Also take advice from union. This can really impact you for a long time so talk to someone. So sorry you are in this position but it can get better. I was always of the thought you kept your head down at work - until I knew I couldn't. I am really proud of myself and my colleagues that we didn't. You will be stronger for standing up...

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