Ask a Headteacher Anything – Part 2

Twitter could ask me anything – and they did! Here are all of the questions I was asked, and my answers.

Who do you turn to when you don’t know what to do?

I’m fortunate, I have a supportive wife, a great deputy, a cluster group and great governors, so I go to them. Perspective away from education helps too, they see the common sense approach. Headship can be lonely – it’s so important to have a support network.

How would you describe the most difficult members of staff to manage?

They can be a challenge, for sure. Frustrating. Generally though, they have a reason for feeling the way and getting to the bottom of it is important. Hard not to get frustrated at times though. Giving them responsibility helps sometimes though!

How many hours do you work on average a night at home?

I try and keep it to a minimum. I’m generally have my phone so respond to emails via that, so I don’t count it. Evening meetings take a lot of time. I’m generally in school 8-6, I think a 50hr week is enough. I make a point of being at home to put kids to bed.

What is your favourite colour?

Red.

Have you ever had a member of staff who you really did not want at your school?

Not personally, but I’ve seen it with a HT I worked for. Horrible situation, but it depends what it comes down to. Is it poor performance or clash of personalities? If it’s the latter, we just need to get over it I think, that’s not a reason for capabilities.

What are you asking your staff to do about reports this year considering we only just had parent evenings before schools ceased to function as normal?

It’s still up in the air for us. Depends if we come back. I’m considering a Maths, English comment and then a longer than usual teacher comment. It’s a legal requirement to give them?

Do you think teachers have it easy?

At the moment, or generally? I’m not sure teaching is ever easy. It’s has peaks and troughs, but on top of the physical energy there is the mental strain which takes its toll. A lot of waking time goes into thinking each day through. It can be all consuming.

How do you decide who’s contract to extend from a fixed term and when would you expect to inform the staff member?

Struggling with this at the moment. It shouldn’t have an impact, but budget often does. If they are really good it’s so much harder. it’s about an honest conversation. I’ll have to tell mine over the next few weeks to give time to find new role if necessary.

Which three things would you change if you were in charge of the asylum? What do you wish you could do more of in school?

Lose testing from 5/7 primary year groups it currently is in. Reform accountability system from Ofsted, don’t know to what. Encourage leaders to trust their staff more. The push towards a wide curriculum is no bad thing. Lots shine in ‘other’ subjects.

What’s the secret to a good Deputy, for both the Head and staff?

Supportive, has your back, but isn’t afraid to challenge and call you out when they think you’ve made the wrong choice. A DHT can be the link from staff to HT, particularly in bigger schools so good comma skills are key.

When do you see schools opening again and how will working practices have changed?

The million dollar question! Half term at best, probably September. Our job is putting the kids back together before we start learning. Those values we put up everywhere will come to the fore above work, and they need to stay there.

What’s the worst mistake you’ve made as a head, what impact did it have, and how did you correct/mitigate it?

Sticking with something I knew wasn’t working through stubbornness. Staff morale bottomed out and people were h happy, not a great environment. I apologised and was honest that I carried on for the wrong reasons. Honestly is magic.

How long would you advise being a vp for before making the the step up to a secondary head?

It’s different for everyone. I only did 2yrs. I wrote a blog about being ready a while ago. You need the right experiences and knowledge to fall back on, but age doesn’t need to be a barrier to those things.

If you could wave a magic wand and change one thing locally, one nationally and one internationally within education what would your the things be and why?

Locally – better support from LA where they get to know schools and be helpful not a detached entity. Nationally – remove high stakes testing from Primary, high stakes accountability for all schools. Make it supportive. Internationally – share practice more.

Do you ever sleep properly? Is the big job worth it and why?

It comes and goes. Some things stick in your head at 3am. As with any jobs there are pressure points and busy times. It’s stressful, tiring but I wouldn’t do anything else. Watching people develop, flourish and make a difference is amazing.

Good morning. When do you feel children will be back in school? This academic year?

Maybe half term, probably September.

What sort of questions do you use when interviewing- not the standard ones – do you have any that spring to mind ?

I like to know whether a teacher will fit our ethos and values. Is trust and honesty important to them? Do they take pride in their own performance rather than doing something because they are told? The best interviews turn into a chat.

What’s the one thing you would want teachers to know about being a HT??

That a lot gets done they don’t know about. That we protect them from lots of things to help them just do their job. That we genuinely make decisions we think are right. That there is a reason when we ask for something – we must communicate that though.

What are your top 3 most valuable pieces of advice you would give someone wanting to become a teacher right now?

Go in with your eyes open, it’s tough but rewarding. Be doing it for the right reasons.Accept you’ll never get to the bottom of your list. Thousands of things you could do – focus on what you have to do then if you capacity work on the rest.

What’s the best thing about being a headteacher ?

It’s hard to put it into words. I love it when children come scuttling in proud of their work. I love going round classrooms and watching them learn. I love that in a small way I can help the teachers get on with making that happen in an easier way.

How would you describe your leadership style?

I try and be honest, kind and trusting. Kindness is not the same as weakness, you can still have high standards but be nice to people. You get back what you give to people. Trust them first, they trust you back.

What’s one thing that impresses you during the interview process?

Honesty. The all singing and all dancing doesn’t impress me too much. I want the sense that if I employ this person, this is what the kids will get day in day out. If they show that will be consistent and what the kids need, that’s enough for me.

Do you think head teachers should be teaching at least one class a week (several lessons)?

Where possible yes. Sometimes, it just isn’t though. It keeps you in touch with the children if nothing else. I teach a day a week and do as much of the cover as I can. Love my Fridays in class.

Would you rather teach a class yourself or have them split up into other classes?

If someone is off? I’d rather teach them myself. Unless it’s Year R, then I’ll do a sap with someone! Splitting them up doesn’t achieve anything really, apart from logistically.

Is it hard to delegate to your team (when you have an outcome/approach in mind)?

Depends on the team. We are a small staff (about 20 in total) so we all know each other and trust each other. My previous head wouldn’t delegate anything, and she was in school until 10pm every night. Giving people opportunity is what helps them develop.

How do you balance staff wellbeing and workload reduction without taking on more as a HT?

We looked at everything we did and asked why we were doing it. If it didn’t have an impact on children it went. It reduced my workload as we changed the way we did monitoring. If everyone knows the expectations then it’s easier to share the load.

What additional SEMH needs support do you think would be most useful in schools when the children return.

So unknown. It’ll be diff for every child as they will all have had a diff lockdown experience. Some will need getting back in routine, someone won’t have interacted with another child for weeks. first weeks back will need to be about identifying these needs.

Mario or Sonic?

I was a Mario and Nintendo kid and always will be.

Do you think Heads & SLT staff should still have some teaching hours in their week – lead by example?

Where possible yes, but a HT is not the best teacher in a school. I’m not the best teacher in my school, but I dont have to be. It is useful for making sure you don’t lose touch with the kids though.

What kind of person makes an effective Head?

One that gets people. So much of it is about managing parents and staff. Building trusting relationships is key.

How do you get teacher buy in for new programs/changes/etc?

Explain it with them, go through the rationale and give them input. They are the ones who’ll have to do it, why shouldn’t they have a say on what will work or won’t work? Involvement brings engagement.

What is the best attribute a TA can have?

They can be the one to unlock a child where a teacher can’t. They got to be perceptive, quick thinking and reactive. Sometimes they have more to with pastoral wellbeing than the teacher. Shouldn’t be afraid to have professional conversations with the teacher.

What’s your advice for a inexperienced but ambitious member of teaching staff?

Get experience. Ask to shadow and get involved. HTs won’t often refuse an offer of help. Being a governor is the best way to find out ‘behind the scenes’ for me. I learnt so much doing this.

With budget constraints, would you/ could you justify recruiting an experienced teacher over a NQT? Thank you!

Ive always tried my hardest to maintain that we’ll employ good people and find the money, we shouldn’t compromise on standards because of budgets. It’s getting harder and harder though.

Do you think the ‘bar’ has been raised enough and that we should now focus on closing the gap exclusively?

We should never stop striving to push children on, whatever level. You can only do you’re best for an individual child. Having a bar can cause problems. I’ve seen support withdrawn from children because ‘they have no hope of getting expected’. That’s just wrong.

Why are you a secret?

I have a parent body who do hunt people down on social media. Sometimes speaking completely freely doesn’t sit as well with parents, and it shouldn’t. They don’t always need to know the ins and outs of school life in minute detail.

Are all the spelling and grammatical mistakes now commonplace on social media shocking, or is it a sign that language is moving on and we should embrace the change? I am interested to know your take!

I should be the last one to comment on spelling and grammar errors. My tweets are strewn with them. Too much haste. Kids need to know the difference between formal and informal communication and what is appropriate for each and when they are appropriate.

What’s the worst interaction you’ve had with a students parent?

One regarding a permanent exclusion.

How many hours do you work on a typical week? When is a HT’s ‘busy season?’ E.g. Like the few weeks before reports are due for teachers.

Probably 55-60 hours a week, with 50 in school. Evening meeting add more one. Gov meeting seasons get busy as preparing paperwork, report reading definitely. Summer 2. Not that much different to teachers!

When appointing new staff, would you automatically choose someone known to you who you knew was ok or the person who had performed better at interview and lesson observation?

Not automatically. It’s about the best person for the job, always. Sometimes knowing someone is not the ideal at interview – you know their flaws too!

Have you had support from educational psychologists? If so, what is your preference of working with them to support children’s needs? E.g. does individual casework work well for you or would you be interested in more training of staff + community engagement (If funding allowed?)

My LA has two I think. I only see them for statutory EHCP assessments. Wish we had more access, but can’t afford private fees.

Have you ever had to ring social services other than at 3.45 on a Friday (safeguarding witching hour!)

Oh yes. But Friday afternoon is a popular time.

When do you think schools will re-open ? [apologies if you’ve already had this!]

Maybe half term, probably September.

How often should a teacher be going into a hub during the pandemic?

As little as possible.

How do you support pupils AND staff who are dyslexic to ensure they all have the opportunity to achieve their full potential?

I’ve not come across it too much, but like anything, that person will know what helps them. Talk to them and come up with a plan together.

Do you ever regret progressing up the ladder to HT and wish you were back in the classroom?

No. I reached a point where I had had enough of marking books and writing reports. I was more interested in strategic stuff though. Never left the classroom because of the kids though.

Do you follow the ‘Support plan means you’re getting fired’ strategy? Why do heads do this, in your opinion?

I’ve never written a support plan. Shouldn’t get there to be honest. There’s a difference between can’t and won’t too. If you can’t do it, I’ll help you. If you won’t it’s a bit different.

How soon into their employment before you can spot a poor teacher?

So many things affect performance. There are fundamentals though – relationship building and working out what the kids need to do next based on what they’ve just done. Struggling with these may indicate a problem.

What is the most dramatic change you have ever seen in a pupil?

For me, it’s been a child’s confidence and ability to say this is me and I’m OK with that. Big thing to take into the next step of your education.

Do you enjoy working with governors? Do you feel that they are suitably supportive AND challenging? How could governors be more effective in their role?

My governors are fabulous. Challenging isn’t a bad thing. They aren’t asking questions to catch me out, they are asking to see if I’ve thought about it. If I haven’t I’ve learned something. All good. Good govs need to know when to back you and when to challenge.

How would you give advice to a member of staff who feels it’s time to move on?

Do it, but make sure it’s for the right reasons. It’s not a personal decision, it’s a professional one. Leaders should be able to separate the two and not take offence.

What qualities do you believe are fundamental to a good/successful leader? Can you give a top 3?

Trust people. Be honest. Communicate well. Admit when you got it wrong. Know you’re stuff, but don’t be afraid to say you don’t know. Ask for help when you need it.

What’s your thoughts on exclusions?

That’s a biggie! I’m always in two minds tbh. I think sometimes there needs to be seen to be a sever consequence, but if they will have no impact on future behaviour then is there a point to it? I’m very conflicted on it.

How much contact do you currently have with staff whilst they aren’t in school?

I try to keep in email contact regularly. We may do a Zoom break time. I’ve told them to focus on keeping themselves and their families safe.

Whats your most favourite and most dreaded part of the job….

Favourite is seeing the kids everyday and watching them develop into amazing young people when they leave us. Dreaded changes from day to day. Parent meetings I know will be tricky, finance meetings, introducing new things.

Do you ever have run ins and conflicts with the Director or CEO of an Academy Trust you are a part of?

I’m still an LA school.

What do you think of extra curricular companies coming into schools and delivering activities or workshops? Needed more or not needed?

With workload issues, if they can help reduce teacher workload fine. Funding it is a problem for some parents. I generally use them to offer things I can’t offer from our staff team.

What advice do you have for a teacher who has been teaching 21 years, had a child 6 years ago and feels stuck and I’m having to start my career again as now haven’t got the right experience to move back up the ladder. Having a child seems to have hampered my ambitions.

Sorry to hear that, it must be frustrating. To me teaching is teaching, the fundamentals don’t change much over the years so you are no less qualified now than you were before your children. Not everyone sees it that way though.

What advice would you give to a DH thinking about moving to headship? What areas should they focus on above and beyond their usual day job?

I’ve written a few blogs about moving to headship at https://secretheadteacher.org Get as much experience of the firefighting stuff that comes up every day, that’s what you’ll spend most of your time dealing with.

With the complexities of legal HRM including Equalities Act 2010 etc, not being fully aware of changes in digital technology ect (video conferencing been around since 2010 no need for excessive late meetings) Do you think HT’s make excellent Human Resources Managers?

There are a lot of things HTs are asked to do that they have no training for. They do the best they can. For example I didn’t train in HR, Finance, Legal, Social Work but j have to fulfil all those roles. The best HTs take advice.

What is the situation you dread most?

Getting it wrong.

Hi, I am a Postgrad student in Primary Education, what would be your advice for getting prepared to have a class of my own (hopefully in a couple of months) despite my third placement being cancelled as a result of the virus outbreak? Anything would be much appreciated!

It’s all about building relationships. Make sure you do that first. A poorer teacher who can make good relationships will get better outcomes than the perfect one who can’t. Don’t worry about setting aside time to do it. Have high expectations and stick to them.

How do you manage change? – and if I can be so bold as to sneak another on in – How do you create a culture where workload is manageable for your staff?

Change – talk it through and get input. Get people involved in the planning and they’ll engage with the output. Workload – same answer. Talk about it, why are we doing this what benefit does it have? If it has none, bin it!

How would you deal with a divide of teaching staff and support staff. I.e. Support staff not feeling valued and treated poorly

I’d meet with both groups and try and get to the bottom of it. Communication and honesty solves a lot of problems. Although, any teacher who doesn’t value their TA needs a word had with them!

I’m starting a headship in September. What should be my priorities in the first day/week?

Congratulations! Listen and watch. Don’t be heavy handed and start building trust. @Carter6D wrote a guide to the first 100 days. I’m sure he’ll point you to it!

Would you judge a potential staff member on their ‘isolation beard’?

A fine beard is a fine thing.

What’s the best way to progress from middle leadership to senior leadership? Are there any courses or in school experience you would recommend?

I didn’t do NPQH, NPQSL or any of the others. I did get involved with my HT, ask questions and offer to do things. Being a staff governor probably gave the most exposure to what I needed to know though.

What has been your lowest moment as a head? How did you dust yourself off and move forward from it?

A Permanent Exclusion that became very legal and long term. Time and an amazing team was a great healer.

What are the first couple of things you look for in a job application?

Personal statement and job history, references. Personal statement tells you so much. You then marry it up to what you see at interview.

1. As budgets continually get tighter, where are the best value savings you’ve found and what school investments have paid off? 2. Did you need to develop your school finance skills to feel more equipped for managing the budget and if so, where did you find the courses?

We have stripped to the bone. Staffing is the most expensive, and that’s what I wont compromise on. It’s so hard. Finance worried me more than anything starting as a HT. a good bursar and knowledgable govs help a lot.

Do you know what’s happening in the classroom when your information is ‘distilled’ through middle leaders?

I am a one form entry primary. I wander the corridors most days so have a handle on it. Even in a big school I’d do the same though, you need to see with yourself own eyes sometimes.

What would you change about the schooling system – if you could – apart from the lack of money?

I’d get rid of primary testing for school accountability, and try and find a system of judging schools that didn’t strike fear and was supportive rather than seemingly judgemental.

What would you want to see in a letter of application/cover letter, particularly from a PGCE student?

What do you stand for, and what’re your views on education. What experience have you had? What are your strengths, but also what do you need to work on? What particular subject areas are you interested in? How do you build relationships with children?

What are your honest opinions about Ofsted? Are their judgements worth valuing?

Any system that terrifies doesn’t work. People shouldn’t be relieved at 2pm when the phone hasn’t rung. Of course, we should be accountable, but a short visit doesn’t do that. We need people who know our schools and can work with us over a longer timeframe.

What would your SLT say about you? What would the cleaning team say?

Hopefully that they feel valued and part of the school community. That I’m fair and consistent and deal with situations in a calm and realistic way. Behind my back, who knows though?!

Do you ever suffer from imposter syndrome?

Every meeting I go to and other HT I meet brings it on. Everyone seems to be doing a better job and have more of a handle on it than me, and think of things I don’t. At the end of the day, the kids are happy, parents and staff are happy so I must be doing OK.

I am in 6th year of teaching, I have a TLR but want to move up into leadership what advice would you give to get my foot on the rung?

Be a governor, ask to do things, show interest, shadow and engage. HTs don’t often turn down an offer of help.

How do you know your staff are happy?

I talk to them. Trust is a two way thing. I trust them, hopefully, they trust me to come and talk. We only have 8 teachers – it’s sometimes easy to spot when someone isn’t happy!

How do I write my letter of application for headship? I’ve tried tailoring to the paperwork and addressing my impact but I’m getting nowhere. When I first tried years ago, I got to interview and fell there instead. I want to progress but think step-back is a barrier now.

Maybe it’s about tailoring to strategic rather than teaching based. I found it hard to see a big picture at first and focussed too narrow. Evidence of how you can do that and implement it is probably a good start. Try to convey your personality too.

What is your greatest flaw as a HT and how do you address it?

I want everyone to be happy so probably focus more on trying to please everyone than I should sometimes. It only takes one negative comment to send me into a bit of a funk, which isn’t helpful. Asking other people would probably give more answers!

Are teachers who challenge you and the decisions you make actually ones you want in school, or would you rather they were all fully on board with your ideas?

I have no problem with being challenged. It means I have to have thought everything through before presenting it. I’d make awful decisions if it was just left to me alone and everyone went along with it.

What’s the biggest challenge you’re facing as a result of the impact of Covid-19? How do you really feel about remote learning and what would you like some support with?

Parent expectations are tough. Some want lots of work, some don’t want any. Some can help their kid, some can’t. The unknown is tough, both time frames and knowing what we come back to. Remote learning is a time filler for me, not useful learning.

With mental health in children increasing, and CAMHS waiting lists too long and thresholds too high. What are/can schools do to support their students with mental health issues?

It probably needs more curriculum time, which is hard because everything is so jammed. Itlll explode when we get back and sorting that out needs to come before learning.

Favourite and least favourite curriculum subject? Favourite and least favourite year group?

I love teaching Maths and English. Science I always found a bit of a chore. Love Y6, Yr R terrifies me, although I can see the appeal for those that love it!

What do you value most in your assistant heads?

Support and challenge. You need to get on too, you’re working closely with them. They have to back you up in public and private but be happy to say, look this is a bad call let’s talk it through. Got to be able to have a laugh with them too.Why do you think so many young teachers leave the profession, and is this something you feel you can do anything about?

Why do you think so many young teachers leave the profession, and is this something you feel you can do anything about?

I think some people don’t fully realise the job. The workload and mental drain can be intense and you have to be prepared. HTs definitely can help with this – talk to staff, why are they leaving? Is it too much work? Have we done everything we can to help?

Do you think the current cohort of trainee teachers will be at a disadvantage and overlooked for September jobs, which wouldn’t have been the case in a non-lockdown world?!

It’s too early to say. Maybe, especially if people don’t move on as they might have done. No movement, no jobs. Schools will have to be practical in recruitment and maybe take more risks.

What’s the most useful thing your teachers could be doing right now to support you?

Setting the work we’ve agreed they will, respond to the children if needed and stay safe so they are fit and well to come back when we open. If they take time to recharge now- fine – it’ll be manic when we’re back.

Why is it so hard for Usborne to get in to schools?

Schools like their traditions.

I need a job (HoD PE, DoS etc) for sept which are far and few in my area right now.. what would you advise me to do / to seek out in order to gain employment when so few jobs are being advertised in the current climate? I want to be proactive but also feel it’s a waiting game

I’m not as clear on secondary, but I’m not sure there is much you can do. Get your application ready, run it by a few people. Do some online CPD if you can. Go to schools and do visits before applying (not poss at the moment!)

How do you explain to the rest of the school what you do all day?

I tell them! We are a small school. They see what I do. Here is a breakdown: https://secretheadteacher.org/2020/02/05/just-what-do-you-do-all-day/

When we work in an industry that’s all about children, and there’s a drive to retain teachers and support work life balance, why aren’t schools promoting part-time working or making it easier for employees to reduce hours or work flexibly?

Outside of the teaching day, as long as my staff are getting the job done, they can do it whenever and wherever they like. Pick up your kids and then work after they’re in bed? Fine. Arrive at 6:30am and leave at 3:30? Fine. Do what works.

Did you always want to be a head? If not… when/why did this change?

Actually, yes. It was something I’d wanted to do. It didn’t stop me loving my time with the children, but I’d always been nosy about how schools work etc. I get it’s not for everyone though.

How do you keep all the “crap” away from those whose main job is to educate children and students?

Communication. We talk about what the crap is and whether it needs doing. I’ll meet parents, make phone calls and do what I can to help them focus on just teaching children. Solving problems early makes everything much easier.

Are “Support Plans” in reality often used as a mechanism to get rid of expensive teaching staff?

I wouldn’t, but I am sure people have. Madness though. If someone’s struggling, help them. Otherwise, just be glad you’ve got a great teacher.

How do you assess how good a teacher is?

Be in lessons with them (not ‘observing’), talk to them, talk to the children, look through books. See what the relationships they build are like. Can’t look at just one thing, and can’t do it on a one-off visit, got to be done over time and through discussion.

What is the first thing you would do a new head teacher in a week and a half?

Watch and listen and start building trust. Don’t be heavy handed. You don’t know the school, the people that are there do. Learn first.

What is the best way to manage mixed ability sets whilst ensuring 1.nobody is left behind and 2. You’re effectively stretching and challenging?

Good planning and knowing your children. Expect them to work independently at every level at times so you can support every group at some point.

Sorry if this has already been asked…What have you learnt from this period of remote/online teaching that you will bring back into school when we return?

Somethings don’t need to be done in school, but nothing can replace face to face teaching.

Would you hire someone UPS for a part time role or would you favour mps?

Ideally it’s the best person for the job. In reality budget comes into it. Lots of adverts I see are MPS only.

How do you manage work life balance?

Is it essential it is done at 8pm tonight? If not, leave it till the next day. Start with what HAS to be done, then do the rest of you have capacity.

Do you value handwriting or is too much emphasis placed on skills from long ago?

I’m not all for the cursive everyone’s writing being the same. But it does need to be legible and efficient. If you don’t get it right at the beginning it’s hard to correct.

Now that children should be self isolating for 15 days if any of their family has a new cough, what should/can heads & SLT do in terms of pressure on attendance figures?

Tell parents not to worry. It’s out of our control.

Does having a new job every 2-5 years as a teacher gets BA/PGCE/MA make them look too flimsy for lead roles?

No, especially if they’ve moved for promotion. It’s gathering experience.

What do you miss about having your own class?

The funny times, the tangents, the banter you can have. Getting to really know them inside out.

Was there one particular thing you learnt from past heads? Good or bad!

Being good at paperwork isn’t enough. Being too relentless doesn’t help anyone. Kindness counts.

What skills do you think make a great head teacher? It’s not a teaching role, and you’ve already implied being a great teacher isn’t necessarily it, which I agree with. So, what makes a teacher right for leadership?

You need to understand how things, systems and people work. You need good people skills – it’s all about managing people. I wrote here: https://secretheadteacher.org/2020/01/12/if-youre-good-enough-youre-old-enough/

When you receive 100 applications for a job, what makes you choose the applications that get through to interview stage?

I wish I got 100 applications! It’s about personal feel as well as teaching one. We are small team, mistake could damage what we’ve build in terms of our team. Experience, skills that fit our team needs. Personal statement a big part – it’s got to match what we see at interview.

In your opinion how much of a school dinner should be eaten by a primary child before they can pur their tray away and go out to lunch?

Ha ha! We can’t, and won’t force them to eat anything. We ask them to go back and eat more, but if they refuse then we can’t do anything. We’ll let the parents know though.

what do you do as a head to promote wellbeing for your staff?

We spent 4 staff meeting sessions looking a different aspects of workload and agreeing how to reduce. People can have PPA at home. As long as they do the job properly, I don’t care what hours on site they keep.

What are the best CPD opportunities you’ve invested in in your school?

Investing is hard at the moment. We’ve moved to 3 mini research projects for appraisal this year. I’ve given at least two staff meetings term to prep and evaluation and the results have generated a lot of discussion. Well worthwhile.

Do you have any traits you don’t like to see in a teacher ?

That’s a hard one. Not putting the kids first puts me off. Not having high standards and expectations. You can have those without working yourself to the bone. I find those who won’t engage with anything we try frustrating too.

Any regrets you have about teaching and is there anything you would do differently ?

I regret when I didn’t work as hard as I should have for a year or two. The kids didn’t get the best of me. I regret not standing up against a few things I knew were wrong. I’d do a lot differently if I knew what I know now, but I probably wouldn’t be the person I am now if I did.

Thank you so much for joining in!

Published by @secretHT1

Primary HT. Using this as a space to write honestly and freely about the state of education currently.

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