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  #9771 (permalink)  
Old 07-12-2023, 10:33 AM
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Can any kind souls share their HQ experience, both the pros and cons of working in HQ. Am thinking of applying to HQ next year during open posting. Currently a SH with masters qualifications.
Start by exploring the descriptions of the different divisions and branches on Intranet?
Dynamics and experience in each branch really varies...

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  #9772 (permalink)  
Old 07-12-2023, 10:45 AM
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Exactly.

The implementation is completely broken.

SEO grades by design, are not permanent grades. Officers have to relinquish their SEO grade when they step down from their appointments.
If SEOs are expected to be KPs, with KRAs written based on paygrades as opposed to appointments, it would make sense to expect the reverse too, where KPs should be SEOs.

Don't really see what's the big fuss with promoting people directly to SEO. Especially with the addition of GEO5A, it shows that the system does allow for skipping of grades.

If someone after being appointed as KP, is not performing up to the KRAs expected for that role, then penalise them during performance reviews. That's the whole purpose of having a performance appraisal system in the first place right?

Elsewhere, barring the short window during probation, there is no such nonsense.

Paygrade and appointments are basically pegged to each other.

Otherwise, they should review the KRAs expected for different paygrades.
That would be a very ineffective system. Ez to just parachute well-liked but incapable officers straight to SEO1 just by means of appointing SH/LH. And if untested SEO1s cannot perform to expectations, you propose penalising them with bad performance grades? It'll create a new problem of a group incapable officers stuck at SEO1s. Starving off the opportunity of appointment/promotion for capable GEO5s. These young "capable" SH/LHs over-estimate how good they really are.

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  #9773 (permalink)  
Old 07-12-2023, 12:41 PM
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Just want to hear some honest experiences from fellow colleagues who had prior experiences or currently in HQ regardless of the divisions they were in.

Definitely not to escape school, itís more of in pursuit of personal development more than anything else.
Totally understand where you are coming from, as if you don't have prior HQ experience, the whole thing can feel like a black box and make you uneasy about committing to a decision. But I must caution you not to buy too much into the 'stereotypes' about various HQ divisions, and honestly just make an educated gamble and go in to learn as much as you can.

Some stereotypes you might hear are: CPDD is very traditional and hierarchical and moves very slow. ETD people are on call 24/7 and everytime some new digital trend pops up, they will kena turn out like firefighters to rush to the scene. AST is a place where people go to shake leg and retire.

While stereotypes often bear partial truth, there is nothing like going in without any pre-conceived biases, experiencing it for yourself and finding your groove to contribute, and forming your own impressions and conclusions about the organisation.

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  #9774 (permalink)  
Old 07-12-2023, 12:56 PM
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Can any kind souls share their HQ experience, both the pros and cons of working in HQ. Am thinking of applying to HQ next year during open posting. Currently a SH with masters qualifications.
Pros:
- Corporate work-life e.g. 9am - 6pm; typically weekends are not touched. Got peak and off-peak like school, but your working hours are fixed and regular (unless your boss disturbs u lol)

- Got vacation leave, so you can take leave any time of the year

- Exposure to complex work that teachers will never experience in sch. For eg, the need to consult multiple divisions and even external agencies to get a work piece moving. But you know for sure that your work will affect the larger educational landscape. When u go back to sch, you'll realise how sch is a cocooned environment

Cons:
- Hierarchal, so u will need multiple layers of clearance for slide decks. At HQ, a branch head or superintendent is not even considered "big". Divisional directors and above determine what are to be done or not. If u are a SH or HOD in school, u will just be a small fry at HQ lol.

- Unlike classroom teaching, you don't really get to choose the style that u want to teach your content - so a loss of autonomy is guaranteed, because how you do your work will be determined by your branch or division norms


(Speaking with exp, as a former HQ officer and now SH in sch)


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  #9775 (permalink)  
Old 07-12-2023, 01:06 PM
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That would be a very ineffective system. Ez to just parachute well-liked but incapable officers straight to SEO1 just by means of appointing SH/LH. And if untested SEO1s cannot perform to expectations, you propose penalising them with bad performance grades? It'll create a new problem of a group incapable officers stuck at SEO1s. Starving off the opportunity of appointment/promotion for capable GEO5s. These young "capable" SH/LHs over-estimate how good they really are.
Untested?

Nowadays majority of fresh KPs go through internal appointments for one or two years before being put up for interview if their performance is up to scratch. They could also be further evaluated for 1+ years after being confirmed, which is also the normal practice. This is way beyond "untested".

It is not unreasonable to make it such that if a KP is confirmed and appointed in Jan 2023, they are promoted to their estab grade by Apr 2024 if they perform up to all expectations of their appointment. If, and ONLY IF, they fall short in some domains, then delay their promotion until they improve. If they cannot improve, they must step down.

This "untested" mentality is a slippery slope. If we are so unsure about our people, let's have a 5 year probation period everytime someone takes on a higher appointment, before they can draw the appropriate salary at their paygrade. After all, if they can perform well for 5 years, it means they are good enough, right?
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  #9776 (permalink)  
Old 07-12-2023, 01:41 PM
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If there was any decency in the system at all, there would not even be a thing called "Responsibility Allowance". Once a confirmed SH/LH/AYH/ST demonstrates that they are able to meet all the expectations of the job, for one full work year, they should be moved to SEO1 immediately after that.

How many SH/LH/AYH/ST are still GEO4 or GEO5 now, despite not falling short of any minimum expectations of their appointment?

Like you said, the system is rigged to extract additional unpaid or underpaid labour from hardworking and/or talented officers.
My POV as someone previously drawing responsibility allowance - it's not that bad; my time as a GEO4/5 KP allowed me to clock A/B pretty easily. It's harder now as a SEO1.

I've not really done the sums (so do could correct me if I'm wrong), but given the overlapping salary scales, the additional 1-2 months' PB could quite easily offset the 'lost income' from a direction promotion to SEO1, unless perhaps you are already at the ceiling of your GEO scale, or your performance would have also scored you A/B as a SEO1. I suspect for the majority of young KPs, the hypothetical financial loss isn't actually that big.
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  #9777 (permalink)  
Old 07-12-2023, 02:16 PM
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Pros:
- Corporate work-life e.g. 9am - 6pm; typically weekends are not touched. Got peak and off-peak like school, but your working hours are fixed and regular (unless your boss disturbs u lol)

- Got vacation leave, so you can take leave any time of the year

- Exposure to complex work that teachers will never experience in sch. For eg, the need to consult multiple divisions and even external agencies to get a work piece moving. But you know for sure that your work will affect the larger educational landscape. When u go back to sch, you'll realise how sch is a cocooned environment

Cons:
- Hierarchal, so u will need multiple layers of clearance for slide decks. At HQ, a branch head or superintendent is not even considered "big". Divisional directors and above determine what are to be done or not. If u are a SH or HOD in school, u will just be a small fry at HQ lol.

- Unlike classroom teaching, you don't really get to choose the style that u want to teach your content - so a loss of autonomy is guaranteed, because how you do your work will be determined by your branch or division norms


(Speaking with exp, as a former HQ officer and now SH in sch)
Really appreciate your kind sharing of your experience in HQ. Definitely shed some light on some of the queries I had. Possible to share with me, is it an overall positive experience for you? Do you enjoyed what you are doing in HQ as compared to what you did in school? After your HQ stint, do you feel that you value add to your current school in terms of the experience and insights you have gained in HQ? Do you feel handicapped in your teaching in your current school as some of the HQ division work may not not be directly related to IP area.
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  #9778 (permalink)  
Old 07-12-2023, 03:09 PM
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Does winning OCA (individual) count for anything that I can put on my cv? Or is just money?
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  #9779 (permalink)  
Old 07-12-2023, 06:39 PM
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My POV as someone previously drawing responsibility allowance - it's not that bad; my time as a GEO4/5 KP allowed me to clock A/B pretty easily. It's harder now as a SEO1.

I've not really done the sums (so do could correct me if I'm wrong), but given the overlapping salary scales, the additional 1-2 months' PB could quite easily offset the 'lost income' from a direction promotion to SEO1, unless perhaps you are already at the ceiling of your GEO scale, or your performance would have also scored you A/B as a SEO1. I suspect for the majority of young KPs, the hypothetical financial loss isn't actually that big.
Thanks for sharing your views and providing a sense of the numbers. Gives a different perspective to those who claim that they're losing out financially.

I suppose those who complain about Geos being unfairly penalised have no idea how hard it is to get A/B at the SEO level.Not surprising, after all these people are usually those who convince themselves that GEOs do everything and SEO shake leg and collect big bucks
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  #9780 (permalink)  
Old 07-12-2023, 06:41 PM
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Pros:
- Corporate work-life e.g. 9am - 6pm; typically weekends are not touched. Got peak and off-peak like school, but your working hours are fixed and regular (unless your boss disturbs u lol)

- Got vacation leave, so you can take leave any time of the year

- Exposure to complex work that teachers will never experience in sch. For eg, the need to consult multiple divisions and even external agencies to get a work piece moving. But you know for sure that your work will affect the larger educational landscape. When u go back to sch, you'll realise how sch is a cocooned environment

Cons:
- Hierarchal, so u will need multiple layers of clearance for slide decks. At HQ, a branch head or superintendent is not even considered "big". Divisional directors and above determine what are to be done or not. If u are a SH or HOD in school, u will just be a small fry at HQ lol.

- Unlike classroom teaching, you don't really get to choose the style that u want to teach your content - so a loss of autonomy is guaranteed, because how you do your work will be determined by your branch or division norms


(Speaking with exp, as a former HQ officer and now SH in sch)
Was this before COVID? Things are very different now. Just like how schools are complaining about overwork, it's the same in HQ.
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