Mind over money matter

3rd December 2004 at 00:00
However well prepared you are, there are bound to be problems in the first year of your teaching career. Whatever it is that's keeping you awake at night or sobbing on the school secretary's shoulder, our experts can lend a hand

Q: I teach psychology in a school sixth-form. I share the AS-level with a non-specialist but I'm the only one teaching at A2. My subject is not affiliated to a department, but it has been "adopted" by a departmental head. I have a budget, deal with the administration for exams and receive mail addressed to the "head of psychology". I am on an NQT's salary but I have much more responsibility than other new teachers (and more than I was led to believe I'd have when I was interviewed). Should I ask for a pay rise?

A: It might be better to ask your mentor to intervene, and try to persuade the school to attach your subject to a department, where there will be a head who can oversee it. You will still be the specialist teacher, but won't have to do the administration without a guiding hand. On the other hand, there is nothing to stop the school paying you for the responsibility.

Changes will be made next year to the way such payments are made, and schools should be reviewing their staffing structures. This seems like a good time to get your senior management team to rethink the structure of the middle-management.

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