What do you do when a whole department leaves at once? And if the answer to that is ‘weep quietly in a corner’ then what do you do when you’ve actually got two departments!

This links into an article about succession planning that our Head copied Nigel, other deputy, and me in to – now that was scary; was he trying to tell us something?

Anyway in the past month, all of a sudden the PE department looks on the edge of devastation.

The Head of PE applied for the internal Assistant Headteacher post; she’s also been for another interview recently – she’s keen and I’m sure it won’t be long before she’s snapped up.

The other main PE teachers are in their second year of teaching; bright, energetic, enthusiastic and an absolute catch. They’ve decided they’re ready to move on.

We have two other teachers in PE who also teach other subjects and who are fine but not really even Head of Department material so there’s no easy replacement at that level. We could be in real trouble.

Core subject
However from the parents point of view this is not a problem – over half of the parents at last week’s Year 7 parents evening didn’t want to see PE teachers. However I’m certain that they all wanted to see the English teachers and that’s the other department that’s about to leave en masse.

Last year four of our five English teachers were Australian. Kylie (honestly) went back home but we replaced her with an “English” English teacher. Now, this half-term Ben’s going home and by the end of July our Head of English will also have returned to Oz (the added complication there is the ‘secret’ relationship she had with another English teacher – will he be going with her???).

If he does that will leave one teacher in her third year of teaching as the continuity. How will that look when we’re trying to recruit a new team, especially a new subject leader?

I also worry that there’s something under the surface creating all these vacancies and whether it will be ‘catching’.