Basic Timetabling for department heads

Timetables are always there to greet us at the start of the new term as teachers, but what happens when we get to be managers and need to do our own staffing timetables or indeed the whole schools timetable.  Ideally you should love puzzles and a little bit of maths. After this a sense of humour as it can take weeks to get a large schools timetable correct and then someone on the staff will say can you just change this for me without realising the repercussions on others as well as the time to reshuffle others around.

In Technology for instance each year group on a rotation timetable needs to go to each member of staff in turn to ensure they get their full curriculum quota.

Here is an example of one such set of groups year 7.  It is for a group of 5 classes labelled X1-5 for ease but you can easily put the class name in e.g. 7AB, 7EF, 7JF, 7DE and 7VG.

Each group must do food technology, graphics, electronics, control and resistant material projects.  There are 5 teachers needed to deliver it. here is a suggested approach to timetabling this rotation. The initials of the teachers are EF, NS, TG, AM and HC.

Group DateSept-Nov DateNov -Jan DateJan – Mar DateMar – May DateMay – Jul
X1 HCFood TGResistant Materials AMGraphics NSElectronics EFControl
X2 EFControl HCFood TGResistant Materials AMGraphics NSElectronics
X3 NSElectronics EFControl HCFood TGResistant Materials AMGraphics
X4 AMGraphics NSElectronics EFControl HCFood TGResistant Materials
X5 TGResistant Materials AMGraphics NSElectronics EFControl HCFood

This is quite simple as each is moving along but can be readjusted if the teacher stays with the class except for food lessons as a change of classroom is needed. See the timetable below. As you can see there are two different resistant materials projects for this particular rotation. But anything can be inserted e.g. History/English or other year groups and their projects including exam classes.

Group DateSept-Nov DateNov -Jan DateJan – Mar DateMar – May DateMay – Jul
X1 HCSafety




TGResistant Materials 1 TGGraphics TGResistant Materials 2
X2 EFSafety

Resistant Materials 1



EFGraphics EFResistant Materials 2 EFElectronics
X3 NSSafety


NSGraphics HCSafety


NCResistant Materials 1 NCResistant Materials 2
X4 AMGraphics AMElectronics AMResistant Materials 1 HCSafety


AMResistant Materials 2
X5 TGSafety Resistant Materials 1 TGElectronics TGResistant Materials 2 TGGraphics HCSafety


Alternative funding streams

Occasionally as senior managers we need to find alternative funding streams and one such place is the local business community.  Below is a letter that can be used as a starting point to ask for funds.  This letter is around the production of a proms/leavers’ book but anything else can be inserted easily.  The most important thing is to get the students feedback on companies they use and would like to see within their book.  Also if you have a prom committee or head boy/girl these are the things that they could either send out or follow up on their behalf relieving you the senior leader and allowing you to oversee but giving them confidence when dealing outside the school environment.







Dear Sir/Madam or the persons name,

At present, Year 11 students at (put in name of school) are preparing a leavers’/prom book. This book will be distributed to all Year 11 students at the end of this academic year.  The cost of producing such a publication is high and our students are having problems financing it, even though they are prepared to contribute to the cost themselves.

The students would be most grateful if you could consider sponsoring the book or placing an advert within it. The students have specifically targeted you as a business to support them as they themselves know of or use your product/service.

If you are interested in sponsoring or advertising in the book, please complete the tear off strip and return it to (name the person and their job e.g. Liz Foxwell Head Girl, or Liz Foxwell Deputy Head).  Alternatively you can contact her/him via ( put in email) or (add phone number).

We greatly appreciate your support.


Yours faithfully.



Job Description



I am happy to sponsor/advertise in The (school Name) Year 11 Leavers’/prom book.


Company Name and address

Contact name

Contact Number and email