Head swaps top job for French lessons - but only for a morning

A HEADTEACHER who donned a mortarboard and gown has told how he survived no more than a couple of hours in his new post - because the real headteacher returned to his desk.

Andrew Reynolds usually works as a cover supervisor at King Edward VI School in Bury St Edmunds.

But yesterday morning he took overt the reins of power at the successful Suffolk secondary school because the incumbent headteacher Geoff Barton was at Hardwick Middle School covering a French class.

Mr Reynolds and Mr Barton were taking part in a national job swap scheme run by the Training and Development Agency for Schools (TDA).

They were joined in the job swap scheme by King Edward VI’s year division leader Rebecca Taylor who tried her hand at being the school caretaker, and fellow division leader Oliver Porter who worked as a receptionist.


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History head Stuart Small and health and lifestyle coach Amanda Foreman swapped roles.

The idea behind the scheme was to encourage school staff to appreciate what other workers did.

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Mr Barton said he felt “mildly stressed” at having to go in to teach a French lesson as a cover supervisor. He said because he was picking up somebody else’s class he had no idea what he was doing until he was in the classroom.

Mr Reynolds said: “It has been an experience. I am sure there’s a lot more to being a headteacher than I would ever have experienced in one morning but it has shown me little of what happens.

“I think it is definitely something you would aspire to - I think everybody in teaching does at some stage.”

He told how during his morning he welcomed guests into the school, met with the headmaster’s personal assistant, went through the post and wandered around the school checking everything was going well.

Describing the experience Mr Reynolds said: “They’ve all been really good about it and it has been good to see other people’s jobs within the school.”

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