In a meeting this week we were exploring some of the essential criteria we might use for promoted posts such as Principal Teacher, Depute Head Teacher and Head Teacher.
For example –
Should anyone who wishes to become a Depute Head Teacher have been a Principal Teacher in more than one school?
Should a prospective Head Teacher have held promoted positions in more than one school?
Does someone have to have held a Depute Head Teacher’s post for a certain period of time before they can be considered for promotion to HT – e.g. three years?
The underlying assumption behind all of these possible criteria is that you cannot be regarded as being ready for promotion until you have “served your time” and “have experience of more than one school”.
Does “serving time” in a promoted post really prepare people for the next step?
Does it mean that if I’ve done five years a Depute that I’m automatically ready for Headship?
What if the cut-off for consideration is three years and I’ve been in post 2 years and ten months – does two months make such a difference?
What if I’ve held a promoted post in a school where I’ve been given no autonomy by my Head Teacher – should that be the same as someone who has maybe taken on leadership responsibilities in another school but without being at the same promoted level?
All this takes me back to the title of this post Leadership – nature or nurture?
I do believe there are some innate traits which good leaders should have but that it’s not necessary to have the “full set”. – that’s where nurture comes in. Experience in a variety of posts does help – and can be considered essential in some cases – as long as the person is learning from these experiences.
We are relaunching our Exchange Programme next term where teachers/PTs/Deputes/ and HTs will be able to seek an exchange with a colleague in East Lothian in the coming session. Hopefully this will give some individuals who wish to broaden their experience the opportunity to do so within a nurturing environment.
(I’ll be exploring, in a separate post, what “experience” and why it might be a necessary criteria for job selection)