Being a Head Teacher

One great thing about the #weeklyblogchallenge17 is that throughout the week I am attempting to read other posts in an effort to reflect on what my post might be about. Now I had something ready to go this weekend – but a couple of events over the last few days have instead prompted a new post. Which is great – because like last week it should mean it is more relevant. Therefore more interesting…

The events have been the retiring / resigning of various head teachers. Both local and national. This has prompted a lot of conversations on twitter, and in person,  about the reasons for these losses, and of course questioning whether we have an impending leadership crisis…

Make no mistake; they are losses. It matters how we treat our teachers and it matters how we treat our head teachers. Many years of experience, and so resources, have gone in to these careers. Someone asked me on twitter why I thought head teachers were leaving and I suggested that the reasons are many, complicated and individual. Here I will take a closer look at these thoughts:

It is a job played out in public; those who are close to retirement or who suffer in public don’t want to stay there. Indeed the constant questioning of decisions made by a head teacher is something that many find incredibly wearing, regardless of, and indeed sometimes because of, the fact that those decisions are made by a governing body. Local papers, national news and social media rarely record the role of the governing body.

It is an isolated role – often other parties can disclose information as they see fit, and are protected knowing that the school cannot answer. It most definitely cannot answer the concerns of individual cases. Instead they are left to ‘lofty silence’ or a generic, and often weak sounding ‘quote’.

Competition is also the death knell of many careers. The fact remains that many (not all) teachers are not interested in running a business. Much less one where your only colleagues and confidantes are actively trying to take your source of income. In areas where pupil numbers are droppping this has resulted in schools simply stopping collaborating. In a political climate where social services, mental health services and th NHS are slowly shrinking, schools drawing themselves within is not a good idea. And it means that the most vulnerable will suffer.

Those who I have spoken to suggest they are choosing to retire because the future look bleaker than ever, some suggest other careers entirely. The question then becomes about the support for those just beginning, or those contemplating. My original idea for this post comes in here – the Chartered College . Can it do this? That, I’ll leave on the back burner for a while yet…

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