Saturday, 18 February 2012

What do I need what I start a new job?

I have been asked by the Head's PA at my new school to compile a list of the things that I would like for the day that I will go and visit. I will be starting as Head of Faculty.

Before I compile that list I want to think carefully about why I will need the information I ask for. My major worry is that I won't hit the ground running and put the faculty back while I learn the ropes of the new school. I know that I am capable of being a good head of faculty if I have a strategy and a good understanding of how things need to move forward. So I need to find out what is working well in the faculty and what needs to be improved.

How do I do that? More importantly how do I do it while inspiring confidence from my new colleagues and not irritating them.

The list in the ASE/SEP resource pack for Heads of Faculty involves
  • School development plan 
  • School handbook  
  • Departmental handbook, including health and safety policies and name of radiation protection officer (if necessary) 
  • 2010-11 and 2011-12 department development plans
  • Exam results and any analysis student data/tracking within science department 
  • Copies of any internal/external reviews on the department 
  • Whole department timetable 
  • Schemes of work 
  • Access to class lists 
  • Information on current budget information on how to bid for capitation 
  • Another head of faculty to buddy up with 
  • Performance management procedure 
  • Observation cycles
  • Copies of minutes of departmental meetings if available
  • Job descriptions of the post holders I line manage
My main question though is what is expected of me. Will I be able to get that information from paperwork? 


  1. All that will give you some good background info, but nothing will tell you as much as talking to your teachers and the pupils.
    This is a priority when you take up your post.
    Find out about your line manger and what their opinions are about the Q of T.
    early days set up a learning walk with LM to check judgements ( and their understanding of the functioning of a sci dept) teaching, pupils, books, data, use this information to work out dept priorities and inform your action plan.
    Check responsibilities of other post holders and make sure this is QA through the action plan

  2. But you probably know all this already! When do you start?

  3. All of the above and I would organise 1 to 1s with all the teachers and get to know them.
    I would listen like mad both to teachers, technicians and students.
    Focus groups with students would be good as would work scrutiny but I would do this on a volunteer basis at start, get them to give you a top middle bottom students work. THey will mark them up to date of course but it will tell you something and you won't appear to be on their backs straight away.

    Enjoy your position, being Head of Science is ace!!

  4. Thanks a lot for your advice.

    I can't wait to start. It will be 1st May. I got the impression at interview that the staff know where they want to improve and hopefully I can work on that. This should help if I need to do things that they don't like. All the anticipation isn't good, I just want to get on with it!