I moved to Scotland in 2003, having previously taught in London for 12 years. I had been a member of the ATL union. My Headteacher suggested that I join the AHDS on my first day in the job!
She discussed how difficult it could be for me stuck between the staff and the strength of the EIS and for her, if she had difficulties with any staff. I had no hesitation in joining a union, who I believe totally respect the needs of educational leaders, whatever their specific role.
As a Depute, I feel valued and listened to, especially as there are biannual meetings specifically for Deputes. These are opportunities to voice specific and generic concerns faced by Deputes across Scotland and also provide valuable networking time. On occasion we have had CPD input too on current educational issues.
Despite its history as a Headteacher’s Union, the AHDS makes sure that deputes (and now Principal Teachers) are not treated any differently from Headteachers, except to have our specific needs and concerns recognised.
The role of Depute can be a difficult one to define, but the AHDS makes it clear that they will support me with any difficulties I may face and also celebrate the great opportunities being a Depute brings.
Deputes representative on AHDS National Executive