Job shares: What the heads say

8th December 2000 at 00:00
"IT takes me every minute of every day to get the things done that I need to do. I would find it very difficult to work part-time and believe a school would have to readjust its management structure to accommodate such a move."

Dr Gill Eatough, secondary head, Lacon Childe school, Cleobury Mortimer, Shropshire "HEADS can also be working mothers or carers of elderly parents so working part- time might suit them. This is an option open to high-powered civil servants and even doctors so it seems wrong that heads should be discriminated against. The problem is making sure the partnership is right because you would need two very special people to share what is a 365-day-a year job."

Gillian Haynes, head, Holy Trinity primary, Dartford, Kent IT would be impossible for someone to do my job part-time. I get a number of invitations to be involved in working groups, but I don't feel I can be away from my school for any length of time. We have had staff who have successfully shared a teaching post and I am certainly open to that, but I wouldn't consider allowing a member of my management team to work part-time.

It's an incredibly demanding job and I don't feel I could manage my school properly unless I was here all the time.

Don Gibbons, secondary headteacher Idsall school, Shifnal, Shropshire "I THINK it would be very difficult, but Iwouldn't say impossible. However, there would need to be good communication between the individuals involved. It wouldn't be the best way to do the job, but as long as they are both working in the same direction it is possible."

Jack Harrison, head, Biggin Hill primary, Barnsholme, Hull "WE have a brilliant senior management team and lots of positive delegation, but the thought of a head working on a part-time basis in a large secondary school like this would be impossible. We are in an area of relative deprivation and, as much as anything, have to also act as social workers."

David Sharpe, acting secondary head, Hemsworth high, Pontefract, North Yorkshire "MY instincts are that it is possible for a head to work part time. If you have an effective job description in the senior team, I would have thought arrangements can be made for it to work reasonably well. It could be a good idea but it has to be planned for and built in. If that is the case I see no reason why it can't work."

Nigel Gilhespy, head, Matravers school, Wiltshire "A head's philosophy and vision that drives the direction of the school and no two people are going to think alike. Who is going to arbitrate if the two have different views on the day-to-day running of the school?"

Richard Hales, Red Barn primary, Fareham, Hampshire

Maureen McTaggart

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