Job description for deputy head teacher

Written by rhonda campbell
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A deputy head teacher has a broad leadership and supervisory role. Generally employed within the United Kingdom, the instructor fills the most senior teaching role at a school. Each school typically has one to three deputy head teachers on its leadership team. Mainstream and religious schools alike employ deputies.

Teaching Experience

Experience teaching at two or more academic stages, such as Key Stage 3, KS4 and post 16 levels, is required. You must have solid English, math and science teaching experience at the primary level, or for 8- to 11-year-olds, and at the senior level, or for 14- to 16-year-olds, and up. The position is geared toward assistant head teachers who have taught at more than one school and who have designed one or more core curricula independently or while working on a team.


The ability to design and present detailed evaluation and strategic-planning reports to the school's board of governors is required. Improvement strategies must be documented throughout the year. A solid understanding of managing teachers' and school performance is necessary to become a deputy head teacher. Your written and oral reports and presentations must be clear and engage students, teachers, parents and board governors alike.

Leadership and Management

Prior experience in leading a staff and the ability to delegate key projects and tasks are critical for becoming a deputy head teacher. You must have strong financial-planning and budgetary skills. You will be responsible for completing performance evaluations for each teacher you oversee as well as scheduling teachers for development programs and encouraging them to continue their education outside the regular school day. The ability to provide in-depth feedback and coaching to teaching assistants, head teachers, and special-needs and nursery instructors is required. You are also expected to have high aspirations for students and teachers under your leadership.

Education Requirements

A degree of master's or bachelor's in education is required. In the U.K., you must have your National Professional Qualification for Headship. The Leadership Pathways certification also can help you land a position as a deputy head teacher. Teachers seeking employment with faith schools might be required to have a religious license such as the Catholic Certification in Religious Studies.


The work of a deputy head teacher is rewarding. However, long hours are required of some deputy head teachers, possibly creating a work-life imbalance. A 2006 General Teaching Council survey found that only 4 per cent of the more junior teachers who responded planned to seek the role of deputy head teacher. The leading reason for their reluctance was the possible work-life balance. Before you become a deputy head teacher, you must understand the time, managerial and leadership demands that are required. Pay varies depending on the school. Annual salaries generally are at Group 3, Levels 2 to 10, and can range from £43,607 to £90,000 annually.

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