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Faculty Structure(11 Posts)
My medium sized independent school is about to move from a traditional department structure with a HOD to a Faculty structure in which subjects are grouped together under a subject lead and a Head of Faculty. At the moment we are all finding the prospect really daunting, particularly the HODs who know that most of them will be taking a pay cut.
As Chair of Common Room I'm trying to play devil's advocate a bit and think of some advantages but really can't see any at all.
Has anyone got any experience of this structure, particularly the change from depts to faculties and how it was managed? I'd love to hear your thoughts.
I don't understand why HODs take a pay cut? They are still line managing the same number of people, surely?
They have fewer responsibilities. Where a heads of department meeting might have lots of heads of little departments attending, a faculty director meeting would be fewer people, all in charge of roughly same-sized faculties. They’d do all the big picture stuff (I assume). It’s basically a cost-cutting exercise as far as I can tell, and puts people off applying for promotion because they’re a languages teacher and know nothing about Drama (or whoever they’ve been lumped with).
Yes, that's exactly it, noblegiraffe. There will be a 'subject lead' in each subject working under a Faculty Head who is responsible for 3 or 4 subjects. Subject lead will only get a small increment and not much time allowance. Whole thing stinks really.
The whole common room is opposed to the idea though so hopefully we can talk him out of it.
We are likely to move to a faculty system in the next two years and I won’t be applying for head of faculty. What I also won’t be prepared to do is the same amount of planning and organising as a head of subject for less money. I’d rather lose the TLR completely and have no responsibilities. It’s crap.
I'm sort of surprised by all this as we have had faculties in my school since I began : 20 years ago!
There are subject leaders within faculties (on about a TLR of £3 - £4 (I suppose) and HOFs who earn about £9k extra.
When HOFs have been advertised, people always apply and SLs are well aware that promotion to HoF is a career path. Some HoFs are harder working than others but it is definitely a much bigger job than SL/ HoD. Some SLs(like me) do two jobs so my responsibility point for my department is swallowed up by a bigger role, so I get paid a pittance for SL...
Advantages? It saves money. That’s it really.
I'm head of large faculty - 5 GCSEs and 8 GCEs. The advantages are not only salary saving - I have a really clear overview of students across the subjects, I have staff (11 in faculty) who teach more than 1 subject within the faculty and many aspects (assessing, trips, resources) can overlap. I have heads of subject (except mine!!) who I meet with once a fortnight and they do some tasks but mainly just monitor and focus on T&L in their subject. Our school has 7 heads of faculty so that makes meeting w SLT easier too. The disadvantage is I feel a HUGE responsibility of so many students and so many qualifications, I have to try and be v organised!! When it works I think it can be fab and lead to better collaboration, but I also know if HofF is not great that's lots of subjects that suffer...
We have faculties with no subject leaders though.
We recently changed to faculties and I feel it has not worked. Subjects have not been grouped sensibly. No one is in charge of my subject now and it is stressful trying to co-ordinate without a lead. This change was purely to save money.
I worked in a school organised in this way one year and I couldn't see many advantages (other than cost ones, of course). It worked okay for the two subjects in my faculty that were the ones the HoF taught, and two of the other subjects had only two staff and they worked well together, with the more forceful one taking the lead. My subject had 3 staff (the year after I left, it was 4) all with very different ways of doing things and it really suffered from lack of co-ordination and leadership - plus the HoF had to make decisions on a range of matters from resources to predicted grades which she wasn't in a great position to make as she knew nothing about the subject! All the CPD was delivered on a faculty basis too, which was hopeless.
I had been subject leader at my previous school and could have co-ordinated and led on some things, but I simply wasn't prepared to without the TLR.
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