Monday, 14 April 2008

Staffing update

It's that time of year again when, as a headteacher, I am working hard with colleagues in trying to get our staffing organised for next session.

Last week we were able to appoint a Biology teacher to Liberton HS to replace Ms Sarwar who left us at the February break. I was really impressed at the quality of the three candidates we shortlisted; I would have been delighted to have welcomed any one of them onto our staff. For the first time in my experience we observed all the applicants teaching a class. ( I was so pleased to see that only one pupils across three classes needed to borrow a pencil. This level of preparedness, as many who know me, is something I value highly). This approach has been used by privated schools for years. I foresee that this will be standard practice at Liberton High from now on.

Of course, as most will know, our staffing complement is based on pupil numbers and, as our roll is projected to fall to just under 700 next session, this means that we have to declare some staff surplus. I have to say that is one of the least pleasant parts of my job. As someone who had direct experience of being declared surplus (Firrhill HS 1986) I fully understand and can sympathise with those in this situation and the feelings associated with being in this position. Not surprisingly, I think the longer a member of staff has been at a school, the harder it can be to uproot and move elsewhere. On a positive note I am delighted to say that both staff involved have been highly professional in their response and I hope they can be quickly and painlessly relocated to another Edinburgh school.

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