Rising through the ranks - becoming an outstanding teacher (in the UK)
May 8, 2013 2:51 AM   Subscribe

How and how quickly can I progress from being a trainee teacher this September to helping to run a school as part of its leadership team?

I'm planning a career change and am in the midst of interviews for on-the-job primary school (US: junior school) teacher training (it's called School Direct, for those in the know). I get paid a low salary for the training year (but at least I *do* get paid!) but then I'm a qualified teacher, hooray!

This will mean a big drop in my earnings compared to my current job (which I've been trying to escape for a looooong time now, so I'm choosing to trade less money for more happiness) but then I'll (hopefully) start moving up the ladder. We can manage for a while but I want to be able to look ahead a little.

So, two questions:

1. How quickly can I realistically expect to progress up the ladder from newbie (Newly Qualified Teacher, NQT) to lead of a subject area and then on to being an assistant head... deputy head... head teacher?

2. What would I have to do to make myself outstanding enough to achieve this? What sets apart the teachers who do this, from teachers who are outstanding classroom teachers but always remain as such?

Thank you for any and all advice!
posted by monster max to Work & Money (4 answers total)
I think, thinking back to my head of dept in the UK, that you need to be ferociously organized, have excellent classroom management, a great rapport with your staff, and to be able to command respect naturally and based on all of the above. As for timelines, I left after one year so I don't know but London Underground posters suggest 4 years.
Also as a teacher, albeit one in NYC now, I'm always a little leary of the equation teaching =happiness!
posted by bquarters at 6:03 AM on May 8, 2013

Be prepared to move around to get ahead to avoid dead teacher's shoes.

It will help if you are a man.
posted by biffa at 9:13 AM on May 8, 2013

Based on limited exp in the UK (but fairly extensive exp in Australia): the more unpleasant the school environment, the less competition there is for jobs, and so, promotion. Schools can be unpleasant for a range of reasons but if you can find one with a high turnover you've got a better chance. I worked at a school that received an 'outstanding' for its Ofsted but was staffed by mostly young and inexperienced teachers. I saw people acquire positions of some responsibility within a year or two. However, even within that environment (I was pretty much desperate to leave after a few months) rising to subject area leader or assistant head was still something that would take many years for most. Rising to department head is considerably easier if you have a small dpt or one that finds it difficult to attract teachers- usually any area that pays people who have trained in it well in the corporate world. I'm an English teacher- there are a lot of us and having an English degree does not easily lead to high paid jobs. Therefore, there were a lot of pretty competent ppl competing for HOD anywhere I've worked. In English, the HoDs had about 10-15 yrs experience.
posted by jojobobo at 11:38 PM on May 8, 2013

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