What does a Headteacher do?

I had a fascinating conversation with a group of Year 10 students over lunch on Thursday around the role of the Headteacher. After a little early embarrassment of them not quite wanting to ask, or perhaps not knowing quite how to ask, we got to the crux of the question which was (to paraphrase slightly) “we know what you do out and about, but what (and when) do you do the rest of the time?” I suppose it’s a fair question, although I am not sure they expected the depth of the answer! I think the interesting thing for them wasn’t so much the “obvious” parts of the job, e.g. learning walks, lesson observations, meeting with senior staff, deciding on student punishments etc.; rather, it was the other elements, for example HR issues, marketing, recruitment, budget monitoring, compliance, etc. I think after a while, the students were beginning to regret that they had asked!

To offer an example of that diversity, as many parents will be aware, the rules around data protection are changing in May, and we will be subject to GDPR. This week, Mrs Walker and I had the briefing session about: the GDPR audit that we need to undertake; the consequent changes in procedures that are bound to result; and what will be the impact on our (indeed many organisations) working practices.  It’s not an exaggeration to say that I get at least a dozen emails a day about GDPR from companies selling services (they mainly end up automatically sent to my clutter tray), but sorting the wheat from the chaff of what we need to know, versus companies simply selling products through spotting a gap in the market, is complex. I won’t bore parents with any further GDPR details, as many of you will be going through the same considerations in your own businesses, but suffice to say to it shows how the work of the Headteacher is far more varied than the students will ever really appreciate from watching the 8.30 to 3.30 part of the job.

What I can say, is that I certainly preferred discussing strategies on how to teach religious settlement with a History colleague more than looking at the intricacies of GDPR!

Have good weekend.

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