Brainfood: How does he manage?

Head teacher

Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013

Lee McAuliffe St Alfege with St Peter's C of E Primary School, Greenwich

When did you become a manager?

I qualified in 1998 and taught under a head who believed in sharing authority.

She made me a team leader in my third year, and my focus grew from one class to three, with responsibility for other teachers too. I then took an assistant headship in East Sussex, and became head here last year.

What does management mean to you?

I'm in charge of finance, curriculum, the premises and personnel, but the school's 160 children are the central mission. They get one shot at primary and I have to be uncompromising in giving them the best. I don't teach regularly any more and was worried I'd lose the kinship, but I keep my door open so kids can pop in and say hello. Increasingly, my job is to make the school less insular, to build links with the community.

What do you love/hate about your job?

The best thing is working strategically to improve children's education.

It's also good to give responsibility over to the staff. They are controlling their own budgets and saying what changes they want to make, and now I have to keep up. The only downside is that I cannot tolerate under-performance, from children or - on very rare occasions - staff. People question the long hours and immense workload, but I knew the deal when I signed up.

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