WomenEd Blogs



by Anoymous

Your discomfort is palpable as the questions draw to an end. The parent governor on the panel is smiling warmly, but I can see that, although my performance today makes me the strongest of all the candidates, you are hesitant about employing me.

Please don’t think I want your role; categorically I don’t. Headship is not for me. I made that decision some years ago and it’s not one I need to revisit. I admire those of you who are shouldering that burden and am very happy to work for you as part of your team.

Please don’t feel threatened by the width of my experience. I will, of course, draw on it to do my job to the best of my ability, but I won’t pepper my conversation with references to other schools and other systems, nor will I try to alter procedures you’ve worked hard to embed.

Please be reassured that even after many years of service, I remain enthusiastic, informed, child focused and effective in my practice. There may be the odd grey hair and more cushioning on my bones than is strictly necessary, but time hasn’t dulled my wits nor weakened my desire to be the very best teacher I can be.

Please recognise that my experience and expertise will ensure that I am quickly assimilated into your team. I know how important it is to get the right fit in any school and I will bring my skills, my knowledge, my resilience and my willingness to learn, adapt and grow. I bring discretion, patience and humility too. I’m not scared of hard work, but I also value my work life balance too, so you’ll find I’m very efficient in the way I work. 

Please understand that it’s taken courage to be here today. Like so many jobs, this role had a M1-M6 pay range, but I came for a look round, liked what I saw and put in an application anyway. 

I’m not expecting to be paid on the leadership scale but working for you on M6 will have a profound effect on my pension sadly and as a single parent I can’t afford to be financially reckless. Having to relocate and trying to find a new school has been bruising despite my exemplary credentials.

Please be honest when you ring to tell me that you won’t be appointing me. Tell me that you simply can’t afford to pay me UPS 3 when appointing an NQT will give you more financial freedom. Explain your budgetary crisis, discuss the limitations of your funds, highlight the additional costs you’d incur by employing me.

Please know that I will understand, to a certain extent. I’ll wonder if your own salary continues to rise each year, whilst the number of teachers in your school who are able to command the higher pay scales gradually decreases. Perhaps you are a leader who talks of opportunities for all, succession planning and continuing professional development, yet subtly discourages teachers from applying to be paid on the upper pay range. You may spend sleepless nights trying to find creative ways to make less money go further, you may have even relinquished part of your own salary in order to help ensure the children don’t lose out.

Please consider however the role you play in the current educational landscape. Whilst your decision may feel like a necessary compromise, one you can justify because of the difficult decisions you need to make locally, as other schools take similar action, there are more profound outcomes.

Experienced teachers are not education’s white elephant; they are the powerhouse of a successful education system which our children need and deserve.


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Saturday, 01 October 2022

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