I have recently visited several schools while seeking a post as a deputy headteacher. I feel quite insulted that I have not had the chance to speak with the headteacher and therefore form an opinion on whether this is someone I want to or could work with.
On one occasion I was shown round by a well-meaning administrative assistant who wasn't sure if they had had an Office for Standards in Education inspection, as she wasn't sure what it was. She also didn't know if there would be a teaching commitment. On another occasion, the headteacher did not introduce himself to several prospective candidates despite entering the room where we were all waiting for a mass guided tour (the group included candidates for deputy head, reception teacher and a special support assistant).
Surely any teacher seeking a post has a right to meet the head, but this is particularly true for a deputy who will work closely with and have to support them. I find it staggering that I am not given the chance to question a head on their philosophy and so on before I choose to apply.
It seems to me that the school wishes to choose the candidate but we are not allowed the same privilege. I have decided that any school where the head does not make themselves available is not serious in finding the right person for their school but is more concerned with filling the post.
As a senior teacher, I am well aware of the pressures on heads but I fervently believe that the recruitment of an excellent, in-tune deputy is a very important thing for a school. If we consider ourselves professionals, then it would seem high time we are treated as such.
Name and address withheld.