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How To Become A Headteacher 

Anyone who has been teaching for a long period of time may be ready to take the next steps to become a headteacher. This is one of the highest roles in the education system and encompasses many different areas of school management. A headteacher is solely responsible for the success of a school, down to pupil performance, staff needs, financial planning and resource management. 

Becoming a headteacher isn’t as straightforward as you might imagine. There are multiple avenues to go down and there aren’t many strict requirements for the role other than having previous experience as a teacher and deputy headteacher. Instead, it is more about demonstrating the wide array of skills needed to succeed in a headteacher role.

The process can be complicated and exact requirements blurry. Here, we will look to simplify the process of becoming a headteacher and offer expert tips to help you achieve your teaching aspirations. LTF Recruitment has a wide range of headteacher vacancies available – find your perfect role now, or contact our team to learn more about a vacancy.


Headteacher Duties

A headteacher is one of the highest positions you can get in the education sector. You are completely responsible for the running of a school, including the managing of staff and pupils. You will meet with governors and board members to produce strategies and policies that work toward a successful school. You are then responsible for communicating higher-level information to staff, pupils and parents if required. 

A headteacher will work closely with accountants to ensure that all financial assets fall within budget. This includes upgrades to equipment, wages and other key financial decisions. They will devise plans and strategies and decide where resources will be best used. 

As a headteacher, you may also have a direct role in the recruitment within your educational facility. This can include being present in stages of the hiring process or training new members once hired.

It’s important to note that a headteacher role isn’t always black and white, and there are often differences in their day-to-day roles. Whilst one headteacher may get involved in a certain aspect of school life, this might not be the case across the board. There will also be key differences depending on the type and level of school.  


Headteacher Skills & Qualifications

A headteacher role is unique in the way that there is not just one way to become one. Originally, to become a headteacher you would need a National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH), however, this requirement was removed in 2012. Getting this qualification will still put you in a great position when applying for roles, but isn’t required. 

You must, of course, be a fully qualified teacher to be considered for a headteacher role. There are again many ways of becoming a teacher, although GCSE’s in English, Maths and Science at a grade C or higher are required. Only English and Maths are required for secondary schools. For higher education, you must have A Levels and a degree-level qualification in a relevant field. An Initial Teacher Training Qualification (ITT) is needed and you may also be required to have a QTS depending on the school. It is also beneficial to have worked in multiple schools.     

You must then show evidence that you have worked in a senior position in the education sector. Whilst this doesn’t always have to be within a school environment, it’s important that you demonstrate leadership and management skills. It is also highly advantageous to demonstrate a good knowledge of finances as this is an integral part of the headteacher role. You may choose to work closely with school accountants to ensure you understand fully how budgeting and the managing of resources work. 

Lastly, you should work towards acquiring a deputy headteacher role. From here you can learn firsthand what it takes to be a headteacher and develop the key skills that are required. You will acquire experience in key areas such as pastoral care, data management, establishing objectives for staff and defining strategies to work towards a successful school.  


How Long Does it Take to Become a Headteacher?

The length of time to become a headteacher varies from person to person. What qualifications you already have and the experience you have will play a part in determining how long the process might take. 

It will generally take a minimum of 10 years from the time you start teaching to achieve a head status. The average head teacher age in the UK is roughly 45 to 50 years old, although positions in secondary schools will tend to be older. Even still, there are some instances of headteachers in their 20s, so you shouldn’t be put off if you think you’re too young for the role. Again, it is completely down to your experience and qualifications.  


Speak To An Adviser

LTF Recruitment has a wide range of roles available in a variety of schools. We are passionate about your career and will use our skills and expertise to ensure you find a position that’s right for you. We use a vast network of schools that features facilities of all types and educational levels. 

Contact LTF Recruitment today and we will happily guide you on your route to becoming a headteacher.