A recent email pointed out that not all readers of this blog are teachers and asked if I would explain a few things rather than assume that everyone knows what I'm on about.
So here goes...
Ok. We have State and Private schools. State ones are free, Private ones you pay to attend or get an increasingly rare scholarship.
State Schools consist mainly of Comprehensive Schools, with a few dozen Grammar Schools and Academies. All Comprehensives have been told to apply to become specialists in a particular subject, eg. Performing Arts, Science, IT, Business Studies etc. About two thirds have already done so.
Moving on to the staff. Headmasters and Headmistresses are now called Head Teachers due to political correctness which is the most important part of modern teaching. Competence at your job is of no relevance whatsoever.
There will be one or more Deputy or Assistant Headteachers, depending on the size of the school and possibly a few extra bodies with titles such as Head of Upper School or Head of Lower School.
The Group described above make up the Senior Management Team (SMT) They make all the executive decisions on the running of the school.
Most children start Secondary Education at the age of 11. Their first year is called year 7, despite the fact that it is their 8th year at school. They take their GCSEs in Year 11 and if the school has a Sixth Form the two years are called year twelve and thirteen.
Each Year group usually has a Head of Year and a Deputy Head of Year.
Each Department eg. Maths, English or Science will have its own Head and Deputy Head of Department.
All of the above will usually do some teaching as well.
Then we have the ordinary teachers who do most of the teaching in the school. They may pick up additional points by taking on various responsibilities such as Key Stage 3 Co ordinator (in charge of the work done up to the end of Year 9 including the SAT tests) which gain them extra pay and headaches.
This is a broad outline, for the benefit of those outside Teaching. I'll add to it soon, but in the meantime, please feel free to let me know if I've missed anything out.
(Read VoteFranco's excellent comment below, which corrects my statement that State Schools are 'free')