The Life of a Deputy Headteacher: Part 2

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Ross Morrison McGill founded @TeacherToolkit in 2010, and today, he is one of the 'most followed educators'on social media in the world. In 2015, he was nominated as one of the '500 Most Influential People in Britain' by The Sunday Times as a result of...
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This blog is a return-visit to the working-life of a deputy headteacher and some of the projects I am working on this half-term …

In my last blog The Life of a Deputy Headteacher, 5,000 of you chose to read the progress I am following in my new role. In the first blog, I said ‘that the life of a deputy headteacher was relentless‘; however, what I failed to mention, was that is was also a ‘happy-continuum.’

shutterstock young crazy man deputy headteacher funny orange tie shirt beard

Image: Shutterstock

A Happy-Continuum:

In this blog I said;

“The life of a deputy headteacher is very much the same for any person who works in a school, only intense in a different way. I know I must have an open door 24/5 and that much of my time is for students and supporting colleagues. Much of my own work and my to-do list is rarely tackled throughout the day. Having time to be able to concentrate on a school policy, or plans for a whole-school CPD session or school vision, requires quiet reflection and concentration. This exclusively happens before and after school hours …”

In that blogpost – one week before May half-term commenced – I also I shared my office whiteboard below. Not much has changed in terms of things to do, but much has moved in terms of my thinking. Over the coming 7 weeks, this is what I hope to achieve;

Office Workload To-Do List @TeacherToolkit Quintin Kynaston

Click to tweet.

What I Hope to Achieve:

@JillBerry102‘s comments on my first blog are pertinent;

“Day times are for people. Night times (and weekends and holidays) are for paper.”

This is my to-do list;

  1. Tweak our Shadow Leadership CPD programme and offer current teachers an interview experience; as well as refine the application process.
  2. Tweak our New Staff School Induction programme before our new staff attend our 10th July INSET day.
  3. Apply for Gold Investors in People status; and apply for Health and Wellbeing status in the autumn term 2015.
  4. Meet with @informed_edu to review our CPD provision against the NTEN CPD audit/framework.
  5. Pair-observe with every head of department in the school; quality assuring the process of non-graded lesson observations.
  6. Attend the final Personnel Committee meeting of the year with school governors.
  7. Refine our new school Learning Policy to be published across the school; this will bring consistency; coherence and clarity for every teacher in the school. We aim to publish what we do/do not want our teachers to do in their classrooms. I will blog this in July. I hope that this will include our MER (monitoring, evaluation and review) cycle and a (suggestive) evidence base to enable teachers to gather evidence for their performance management; in a landscape without lesson gradings and one-off performances.
  8. Quality assure the stage 2 performance management appraisal documentation; and develop the structures required for staff to complete stage 3 in September/October. This will be the first year all of our staff are part of a new Pay Policy.
  9. We have 3 more staff CPD sessions this half-term. The plans are 1) to showcase our @IRIS_Connect work to all staff in a series of workshops this week; 2) to consolidate our literacy drive, as well as raise the profile of our SEN and EAL learners; equipping staff with a range of strategies that can be used in the classroom and 3) to produce our first ever action research document, showcasing a number of staff in several workshops and the work they have conducted this year in MAs, PhDs and NPQML/SL projects. We also hope to lead an IRIS Connect hub/community meeting.
  10. To produce a CPD menu for all our staff, outlining what is on offer, with staff biographies of those currently completing various CPD.
  11. I would like to re-brand our current teaching and learning team, which is something I have inherited on joining the school. I hope to reach out to classroom teachers and have them be part of the committee – in past experiences, this may have been defined as a good to outstanding group of teachers – and empower these members of staff to make critical decisions on documentation and policy for all things teaching and learning. I would like to introduce several new (developmental) posts to the school; these may include a Research Lead Practitioner, an IRIS champion; and an extension to our NQT induction team to help with observations, CPD sessions and liaise with subject mentors. There is so much to do here, it gets me very excited just thinking about where we are going with this.
  12.  I have several CPD events to attend for myself; trying to fit all these in within a busy half term to ensure that I am equipped with relevant information to drive whole school improvement is exciting.
  13. One significant factor that is not written on my whiteboard photograph, is that for the first time in my career we plan to start our new academic timetable before the end of June. This means that every member of staff and student will receive a new timetable, new classes and new classrooms. Our Year 10 (going-into-Year-11) GCSE students who are due to complete one-year courses, will have the opportunity to study a qualification within one full year! Our year 9 students and year 12’s can also get off to a good head start before any summer-slump kicks in …
  14. There are several enjoyable projects that I would like to do; finalise our reading book club and review the impact this has had, as well as develop simple tools to assist our teachers. For example, a revised Open Classroom sign; produce our winning Speed Dating resource and also consider a CPD loyalty card for all staff to accumulate professional development rewards.
  15. Finally, I have recently completed a whole-school analysis of all our teachers’ self-review/needs analysis on Blue Sky. This single document paints an incredible picture of staff training needs. What we have produced over the half-term, is an explicit breakdown of CPD needs by department. I hope that this information will empower heads of department to take full control of the CPD needs within their teams.

Whole-School CPD Needs:

Below you can see the overview of 99 teaching staff. It is clear we have work to do regarding teaching standard 5. Do keep in mind, this is the first year we have used Blue Sky at our school and staff have only been shown the self-review tab (to map their strengths and areas for development) a few times throughout 2014/15. With this kind of powerful information, we hope to make this a half-termly review to help drive CPD needs.

Blue Sky CPD Needs Analysis Quintin Kynaston

And relax …

If I end up taking my tie off at any of the upcoming CPD events I may attend, (particularly looking forward to EdReform15) please forgive me if I come along with a collection of post-it notes and lists of things to do! Hopefully in July/August 2015, I can report back with all of the things we have achieved.

And relax …

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Image: Shutterstock

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8 thoughts on “The Life of a Deputy Headteacher: Part 2

  1. Thanks for this Ross.

    This is a LOOOOOOOOOONG list of things to cover in 7 weeks! Remember things will also happen that you haven’t anticipated and they will take time too. Are the 15 things on your ‘to do’ list in order of priority? If not, can you put them in order of priority? That way, if things take longer than we expect, at least we’ve started with the most important things, and those things we don’t get to can wait until the following term (or later).

    Actually deciding on priority order is challenging in itself! Deciding what goes where should come back to vision and values. What is central to your vision? What is desirable but perhaps tangential, cherry-on-the-top?

    Hope you’ve managed to have a good rest this week so that you have the energy you need for the coming half term!

    1. This was a useful exercise Jill – thanks.
      Ranked by date priority:
      5 – 1st June
      9 – before 3rd June
      7- before 15th June
      3 – 30th June
      2 – 10th July
      4 – before end of July
      12 – before end of July

      Ranked by need/focus priority:
      13 – before 15th June
      15 – share before end of July / re-do Sept
      11 – before Sept –
      1 – before Sept
      8 – before Sept/Oct
      10 – before Sept
      14 – before end of Sept

      1. Hope this helps, Ross – and I look forward to hearing about your progress!

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