Having been a headteacher for two years, I feel able to say how lonely the job can be sometimes. A lot of those moments last year were when the DfE or Local Authority dropped some new-found horror on you. At times it felt almost daily. Challenges came flying at schools so regularly, it’s no wonder that headship recruitment is becoming a massive challenge especially in the primary sector. Every-time the feeling of helplessness was almost overwhelming.
All the time as a head I had to consider the impact this could have on my staff. My job was to be the ‘Crap umbrella’ to deflect the worst from staff and let them get on with doing their job, the most important job in the school…teaching. I think last year I did an alright job at this given all the chaos. We just got on.
In terms of me there were lots of points that were hard.
It often felt that I was
SCREAMING INTO AN ABYSS,
That I was on my own with nowhere to go and often know one to talk to about it. I become so wrapped up into trying to keep my school on an even keel that I forget to look outside.
fortunately I then had a moment…an accidental moment admittedly…but still a moment.
The Local Authority asked us for prediction data for KS2, this was about two weeks after the writing framework and the exemplification dropped. I had one of my silent screams, then I decided to email the local authority with my concerns.
After this I felt a bit better and left it at that.
Now this is a cautionary tale. I would like to warn anybody sending an email to make sure that they don’t click reply all. Always check who you’re sending that email to.
Ten minutes after sending the email my deputy called me into the office…
My computer was running overtime. Smoke was coming out the back. The Whitby internet hamster was running his little legs off. (Our internet is powered by hamster…fact)
I sat and watched as all the heads sat in their offices, breathed out and shouted at the same time. It felt cathartic and brilliant and for a brief moment I felt supported. Equally it made a difference. We didn’t send pointless nonsense data in. Following the tests I can assure any predictions I might have made would have been quite wide of the mark.
So why am I writing this?
Well really just to say to others out-there not to forget that you are not on your own even if it feels that way.
Whatever challenges you may face, there are lots of us in the same boat. We all have the same worries and I know we’re all trying to get it right,
So as I sit and look at the writing framework and scream, I know now there are a hundred Headteachers doing exactly the same. It helps to think that, honestly it does.
‘That’s it please shut the door when you leave….’