The First Week as Head of Faculty

Richard Endacott

Monday, 10 September 2018

There are plenty of skills and responsibilities associated with the role of Head of Faculty. My time is divided between teaching, on-call, duties and line manage of staff across Humanities. I also have to fit in my marking and planning, plus importantly learning the names of students and staff!

I am starting to blend the strengths of the faculty, identifying the strengths and challenges of others. So how can I manage my workload whilst establishing myself in a new school and earning the trust of teachers and students?

Quick and easy wins are so important for new leaders; a one-day inset can be chaotic and gives little opportunity to get to know colleagues. I knew from my interview where SLT thought the challenges were, so a small change to working practices can work wonders in getting the staff to believe that you have their best interests at heart and that SLT know that you understand the issues at hand.

Relationships and communication are vital aspects of being successful, from one-to-one chats over a cup of tea, or a collective talk about their summer holidays.

New staff may be feeling nervous, experienced staff may be resentful of someone new coming into post, especially as in my case one of these was interviewed and didn't get the role.

I spent much of my first few days talking to people, breaking down barriers and ensuring that they knew me and my aims and ethos for the Faculty. I insisted on an open door policy, walking into a classroom without the teacher feeling they were being judged, in return I have encouraged others to come into mine.

Trust is a huge factor in successful relationships. I have a passion for teaching and I hope this energy and enthusiasm rubs off on others. 

"...I don’t need to be the best teacher in the Faculty, but I do need to be able to recognise and share outstanding practice."

Dealing with conflict can seem contradictory to this; I have already seen a member of staff struggle with behaviour management. Consistency and fairness are not limited to your relationships with students but utilising other experienced staff to provide some mentoring support.

Doing so is invaluable to help prove that you are not ‘one of them’ but that you are on their side, yet not to the detriment of the pupils.

I want to be seen as a leader who can nurture and develop talent, be able to confidently challenge underperformance and have the respect of senior management to be able to challenge decisions which adversely affect my team.

I want to give my colleagues the right balance between support and challenge, to trust them to do their job and ensure my Faculty remains at the forefront of school development.

Week one is done, here’s to the rest of the year!


About our Community Expert


Richard Endacott

Career Development Lead

Richard is a history Teacher by Training and for the last few years been head of sixth form. His specialism is leadership and career development in the classroom.




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