Headteacher: What would you do? Part 1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

I have used the following scenarios from an ASCL training course I attended four years ago. The INSET focused on discrimination; employment law; appraisal and salary, following the Equality Act of 2010.

This is a short blog-series (Part 1/2) of various scenarios for Headteachers: What would you do? You can find part two here (to be added).

To be used for professional development purposes.

Photo Credit: SalFalko via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: SalFalko via Compfight cc

Scenario 1:

You are desperate for a teacher of GCSE Science at the beginning of the Spring term. You get an application for an Australian teacher who is doing the walkabout gap year. You interview her and she’s just what you need; and you want her to start immediately.

  • What do you do?
  • What can / can’t you do?

Scenario 2:

You interview a science teacher. He is not the ideal candidate, but you offer him the job. He says he has another interview and he will think about it. You hear nothing more from him for three weeks, by which time you have interviewed someone else via a neighbouring headteacher tip-off. You have appointed her. Then original candidate calls you up and says “I’m going to accept the post after all.” You explain the job has gone and he then threatens you with action for ‘breach of contract’.

  • What do you do?
  • What can / can’t you do?

Scenario 3:

On 20 February a member of staff asks to see you and says that he has had an interview over half term. They ask to be released for the summer term. Do you have to agree?

  • What do you do?
  • What can / can’t you do?
Photo Credit: Sasquatch I via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: Sasquatch I via Compfight cc

Scenario 4:

Your bursar comes to you and says that she is concerned about a school order for an electric drill; which has been placed by your head of technology for personal use. She says that this has always been common practice in the technology department – for as long as she can remember – and says she has always been uncomfortable about it.

  • What do you do?
  • What can / can’t you do?

Scenario 5:

A union representative comes to you and says that it is custom practice, never to have meetings in the last week of term. What is your response?

  • What do you do?
  • What can / can’t you do?

Scenario 6:

You discover that your school union representatives have two free periods a week for union business. Your cover supervisor says that when they have tried to use the union representatives in the past for an emergency, they have objected and said that this time was protected.

  • What do you do?
  • What can / can’t you do?

Scenario 7:

A member of staff is having serious trouble with a difficult class. Then he has an object thrown at him. When you decide not to exclude the boy who did it, but prefer to refer the incident to the local authority Behaviour and Attendance Partnership, the teachers’ union representative comes to you and complains, for ‘failure in your duty of care for a member of staff’.

  • What do you do?
  • What can / can’t you do?

Answers on a postcard:

Photo Credit: Calsidyrose via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: Calsidyrose via Compfight cc

If you would like to respond to any these scenarios, please leave a comment at the bottom of this blog or fill in the form below.

I am happy to include some options alongside each scenario to guide you …

 

@TeacherToolkit

In 2010, Ross Morrison McGill founded @TeacherToolkit from a simple Twitter account in which he rapidly became the 'most followed teacher on social media in the UK'. In 2015, he was nominated for '500 Most Influential People in Britain' in The Sunday Times as one of the most influential in the field of education - he remains the only classroom teacher to feature to this day ... Sharing online as @TeacherToolkit, he rebuilt this website (c2008) into what you are now reading, as one of the 'most influential blogs on education in the UK', winning the number one spot at the UK Blog Awards (2018). Today, he is currently a PGCE tutor and is researching 'social media and its influence on education policy' for his EdD at Cambridge University. In 1993, he started teaching and is an experienced school leader working in some of the toughest schools in London. He is also a former Teaching Awards winner for 'Teacher of the Year in a Secondary School, London' (2004) and has written several books on teaching (2013-2018). Read more...

4 thoughts on “Headteacher: What would you do? Part 1

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  • 14th April 2014 at 8:28 am
    Permalink

    Comments from @mrsmathia
    Comment: As I work in an Academy it makes the situations have clarity; Scenario 1 employ immediately
    Scenario 2 wouldn’t offer the job to someone not ideal; we are in a triple dip recession
    Scenario 3 just had this with an NQT; it was highly unusual but we let her go at Easter. If their heart isn’t in it pointless keeping them. I believe it isn’t how you start it is how you finish and have lost faith in a number of colleagues who have left loose ends when leaving..it is disgraceful.
    Scenario 4; feel really strongly about this NO MONIES BOUND FOR T&L should be used for personal gain!!
    Scenario 5;I teach last lesson on the last day of term; I expect all of my colleagues to do the same. The holidays are sufficient.
    Scenario 6; if they are entitled to it then they cannot be used for cover. Although not in a union myself I agree with the need for a union and their allocated time within the working week.
    Scenario 7; I would ensure the colleague had support and opportunities for coaching to regain effective classroom management techniques.
    Phew!! Am going for a cuppa now. Thanks!

    Reply
  • 14th April 2014 at 6:25 pm
    Permalink

    Comments from @4c3d
    Comment: Common to all and short enough to fit on a postcard!

    1) Listen and limit your comments and questions to those that will only further your understanding of the situation. There area always at least two sides!
    2) Make no promises or decisions there and then about any action you will take. Commit only to maintaining communication and possibly a date/time by which you will reply.
    3) Consult, both the Act and any professional body or organisation necessary to help determine a course of action or understand options and consequences.
    4) If required consult or inform Governors
    5) Decide what to do and stick to it.
    6) Inform who ever of your decision and start procedures if necessary.

    Reply

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