Wanting to get it right and getting it wrong
Pages 10

I think we all want to get things right; we don’t set out with the intention of getting them wrong. In my early days as deputy head I wanted to make a positive impression on the staff, my senior colleagues and the students. Moreover, when people came to me to ask ‘what to do’ or ‘what I thought’ I really wanted to be able to provide the answers. I didn’t like it when I couldn’t, and was left feeling deskilled. However, I came to realise that my core purpose is not to provide the answers, but to help colleagues find their own answers. There are many ways in which the job of deputy head differs from that of middle manager, but the main one is how public any errors become. Because so much of the work involves organising year groups, sometimes the whole school, because there is a lot to do and the volume of work is considerable, then the potential for disaster is so much greater.