Lack of deputy headships hits promotion prospects;Letter

19th June 1998 at 01:00
I wonder how many, like me, are concerned about the growing trend of primary schools operating without a deputy headteacher? My concern is not solely a result of this experience in my own school. This seems to be a growing phenomenon which has many serious implications which may not have been considered.

First, it makes it more difficult to gain promotion if the numbers of deputy headship vacancies are reduced in number, and second, where are all the headteachers to come from if the numbers of deputies are reduced? Doing part of "the old deputies' job" on a "B" allowance would not be sufficient experience on which to apply for a headship.

Third, there is the dubious morality of expecting hard-pressed teachers to take on additional responsibility unpaid.

The amount of money involved in the difference between a "B" allowance salary and a deputy head's is around pound;1,800 which most schools can afford (including many which claim that they cannot).

Furthermore headteachers and deputies are paid more because of the enormous responsibility involved in running the school and being responsible for the welfare of children.

When the head goes out, problems don't stop, and it is unfair and undesirable to expect a teacher to cope with the stress involved without the pay or the status.

In schools without deputies, headteachers are taking advantage of their teachers' professionalism and good nature, safe in the knowledge that teachers will not let children suffer.

What headteachers are expecting is more for less. Is it any wonder that recruitment is down and that morale is low?

It will take a bit more than a few cinema advertisements and a "teacher of the year" award to put that right. I would welcome comments from other teachers in similar situations.

G Hall

37 Lynmouth Road Liverpool

Depressed deputies, page 28

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