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The 6 Kinds Of Headteacher You’ll Ever Meet

Recruitment woes. Funding cuts. The relentless curriculum reform. Who'd be a head these days? These lot.

  • The 6 Kinds Of Headteacher You’ll Ever Meet

Jon Brunskill guides you through the six different kinds of headteachers you’ll ever work under in schools:

1. The Visionary

People thought that blowing half the pupil premium budget on bean bags and a smoothie machine would be a frivolous waste of money. And they were right. Unconcerned with trivial matters such as what the hell to actually teach, this thought-leader instead focuses on the real issues, like relocating all of the school’s resources to ‘the cloud’, just as soon as anyone works out what that is.

If encountered: casually mention that you recently watched a documentary on Mark Zuckerberg, and that you couldn’t stop thinking about how much they reminded you of them.

2. The Young Gun

Perhaps as the result of a raffle, someone seems to have let the work experience kid ‘have a bash’ at running a school. To be fair, this type of head does have ample experience, having only recently completed 14 years of compulsory schooling themselves. A unique blend of unfettered enthusiasm and charming naivety makes these types most likely to apply for the job and least equipped to succeed in it.

If encountered: ruffle their hair and remind them that, “We’re all rootin’ for you, sport”.

3. The Befriender

When you’re in charge of hiring and firing, there comes a certain amount of distance that’s necessary to command the respect of the troops. It’s a subtle shift in relationship, but an important one. And it’s exactly this invisible wall that is smashed by this head, with a lack of self-awareness that would have David Brent cringing.

If encountered: lament how they were missed at the staff drinks event that you, very deliberately, never invited them to.

4. The Executive

Like a black hole, it’s not possible to directly observe the Executive; you can only infer their existence from the endless policies that arrive in your inbox during the small hours. Refers to children as ‘data-points’ with no sense of irony. Track record of 100% exam results, followed swiftly by sword, pestilence and famine.

If encountered: then I’m afraid you’re almost certainly being fired.

5. The Hopeless

The Peter principle states that employees only stop getting promoted once they can no longer perform their role effectively. Watching this play out in real life is like a slow-motion scene in a nature documentary, but instead of a leopard and antelope, you’re watching a professional being chased and inevitably consumed by a complete nervous breakdown.

If encountered: tactfully dupe them into taking part in some relaxing breathing exercises by explaining it’s something you’d like to try with the children.

6. The Try-Hard

“My name’s Mr Pritchard, but the kids all call me Mr P. It’s a thing.” It’s only a ‘thing’, Mr P, because you spent the first three weeks correcting any child who had the good sense to address you by your proper name. And how on earth a head has time to become so skilled in flipping a bottle of water is really just beyond me.

If encountered: ‘reveal’ how all the children wish they had his ‘mad Minecraft skills’.

Jon Brunskill is the head of Year Two at Reach Academy Feltham. He tweets at @jon_brunskill.

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