Last Saturday we were all informed that we should be congratulated because we were all "eligible" . . . but "unfunded".
When I went to the briefing session on the following Monday I was congratulated again on my outstanding success in being found eligible. On asking about the lack of funding I was informed that funds were very limited, that only 24 applicants had received funding out of a large eligible field and that as we all worked in a grant-maintained school, we should seek some other source of funding such as paying the fees out of the generous school in-service training budget.
My calculations for this are as follows: Pounds 2,900 x 3 = Pounds 8,700 (plus cost of supply cover for 25 days each - the requirement to complete the course) 25 x Pounds 120 per day (approx) x 3 = Pounds 9,000 In total this suggestion will cost our school Pounds 17,700, which is almost half of the total INSET budget.
First, I am not sure that other members of staff will find this a good use of limited funds, and second, I am rather concerned that having embarked on this choice of alternatives the school will change from grant-maintained to foundation status - and our INSET funding will be cut in any case. We will then be in a position of being unable to pay the bill! The alternative is to take out career development loans or pay for this mandatory qualification ourselves.
I have a non-working, expectant wife and two other children and this sort of cost would be completely prohibitive. The other two deputies are in a similar situation financially.
In conclusion it seems that three eligible deputies - and potential heads - are going to be unable to complete the required course and consequently will be unavailable for headships when the jobs arise. So much for solving a shortage crisis.
Saint George's School Meadow Road Gravesend Kent