Heads who win

2nd May 1997 at 01:00
Before rushing blindly into early retirement ("Heads dash to quit early", TES, April 18), primary school heads should pause to consider the pros and cons of taking such drastic action.

My own experience of early retirement has resulted in a daily round of difficult decisions. Should I get up now or enjoy another cup of tea first?

If I decide to get up, should I bask in the sun on the patio for a while or take my usual leisurely stroll along the promenade chatting to all the people I now have time to meet? Which papers, if any, shall I read today? Who can I visit and where should we go? Should I take up that off-peak bargain offer of a holiday abroad?

All these questions, and many more, may have to be faced by primary heads who decide to go early.

Retiring heads must also be prepared to face those poignant reminders of the "days that are no more": the dawn telephone call from the teacher off sick; the early-morning traffic jams; the meaningless mail and mountainous in-tray; the matters pending but rarely "pended"; the endless meetings, awkward questions, impossible decisions and nightmare situations.

Are those who are eager to retire early prepared for such losses?

Sadly, because I have so many other interesting things to do, I do not have the time to offer any impartial advice.


8 Medina Court Marine Parade West Lee-on-the-Solent Hampshire

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today