Charlie Hunter headteacher, Kemnay Academy, Aberdeenshire

23rd June 2006 at 01:00
The striking difference about being a headteacher is that you are able to take a much more strategic view.

As a depute head, which I was for nine years, you are right up to your neck in everyday details - timetabling, pupil issues, staff cover - and aren't often able to take a step back.

I didn't miss that operational role because I had always felt frustration at not being able to do more. I now find I'm frustrated for my colleagues, because they are tied up in the same way I used to be.

Finding time with colleagues to engage in strategic thinking together is difficult. However, we have been carving out some time during this past year to look at big issues, such as additional support needs and A Curriculum for Excellence.

Having the ultimate decision in the school forces you to think things through, weigh things up, consider every option. A Curriculum for Excellence is giving us the freedom to address needs and break the constraints we have had in the past. Together with Assessment is for Learning, that is now the focus of everything we do.

The best part of the job is being part of a great management team and sharing the strong identity the academy has in the community. You have to get to know your colleagues well and you have to listen.

This is the most enjoyable, satisfying post I have had since the beginning of my teaching career.

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