I was in a school two weeks ago with just under eighty teaching staff. I happened to get a copy of the staff list, and I counted them.

Of the near eighty staff, fifty-eight had a Teaching and Learning Responsibility payment for something. Some of the responsibilities were unique to the school, referencing faith. There were 12 members of SMT. All members of the maths teaching team had ‘extra responsibility’. I couldn’t help but wonder who all these people were leading.

This is something I’ve noticed more recently and it seems to creep in whenever there’s a recruitment crisis. Some NQTs look for responsibility after they’ve passed their induction year, whether they’re any good or not. Leadership positions are like a ‘right’.

I’ve seen schools invent fake jobs in order to attract or retain staff. I’ve seen Heads of maths and English now become Assistant Headteacher posts just because of the status (diluting that colleague’s focus on their subject) and I’ve seen people threaten to leave because they should be promoted every couple of years.

I suspect good schools don’t need to do this. 

I suspect there’s a negative correlation between the proportion of managers on the teaching staff in a school and a school’s results. 

2 thoughts on “Managerialism

  1. Spot on – A Description I heard recently was the “culture of hats”.

    I have been as guilty as the next person of this, from literally having a baseball cap with initials written on it back in 1987, while an outdoor pursuits instructor / group leader. My titles of HoA – Head of Archery; TT – Terrible Twin (one of two staff that sported company yellow t-shirts and yellow / red patch Troll Jester trousers).

    My current pupils were astounded when they established that I am moving schools but not for more money – why would I do that??

    Thanks for the post.

    @aknill /

  2. Hi John

    I normally agree with the content of your blogs, however…

    Every department has people responsible for areas such as curriculum design, each school will have people in ‘Head of Year’ type roles and there are many other jobs focusing on Teaching and Learning (remember a TLR payment isn’t necessarily for being directly responsible for all the work of other members of staff).

    The fact is, if people are doing more than what is expected of them in their contracts as teachers, this should be formally recognised and paid for. Everyone is generally happy to do their bit and help out, but people who take on extra responsibility deserve the extra payment more than people who just happen to have been teaching for longer.

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