Dear John: How can I develop my career while also thinking about having children?


I have been managing different areas but at the moment I feel stuck at the school I am at; I want to add to my family but I also feel ready for the next step. What steps would be next? As the school is large and I have played a part in growing the school, could I go for deputy head in a smaller school or would I still need to have experience in an assistant headteacher role first?

Finally, do you ever see part time deputy or assistant headship roles working three or four days per week?


Well, the route via assistant head to deputy is spreading, but in a small school it is still possible to go from a TLR level post to a deputy head, although some smaller schools are replacing deputies with assistant heads who are cheaper; being paid the rate for the job rather than a rate for the school.

Leadership posts are rarely advertised as part-time. But, there is nothing to stop you applying for a full-time post and asking if offered it whether the teaching element can be divided from the leadership role to allow a part-time post to be created. A school could even save money this way if the teaching element was paid on the M1 rate to allow an NQT to be employed. This solution works best if you are prepared to be flexible as to the days you will work, as leadership roles rarely fill a regular 9-5 environment. But, you would need to ensure you weren’t exploited and became full-time de facto is not de jure, as that would be the worst of both worlds for you.

However, your first problem will be to find a head teacher who is prepared to be inventive. For that to happen, you need to sell yourself as a great catch for the school with your wide ranging experience.


John Howson worked as a secondary school teacher in London for seven years before moving into teacher trainingandconsultancy,including abrief period as a chief government advisor. John is now a recruitment analyst, visiting professorofeducation atOxfordBrookes University andhosts our Career Clinic where you can post questions to him.