Career Development

What Does a Head Teacher Do?

Find out what a head teacher does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a head teacher.

Head teachers are responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of their school. They set and enforce policies, manage staff, and ensure that students receive a quality education in a safe and healthy environment.

Head teachers often have many responsibilities outside of the classroom as well. They may be tasked with developing curriculum, fundraising, managing student discipline, and other duties.

Head Teacher Job Duties

A head teacher typically has a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Developing and implementing policies and procedures to meet the needs of students and teachers
  • Overseeing the hiring of new staff members, evaluating their performance, and making decisions about termination or advancement based on performance
  • Evaluating student progress and communicating with parents about any concerns
  • Honoring individual student needs by creating an environment that is safe, supportive, and challenging
  • Conducting staff meetings to discuss goals and objectives, as well as issues regarding student discipline or staff relationships
  • Maintaining records of student attendance, grades, behavior issues, and other pertinent information
  • Managing funds and financial records to ensure fiscal responsibility
  • Providing guidance to teachers and other staff members regarding pedagogical methods, classroom management, and curriculum planning
  • Planning lessons that align with state standards and meet students’ diverse needs

Head Teacher Salary & Outlook

Head teachers’ salaries vary depending on their level of education, years of experience, and the size and location of the school. They may also earn additional compensation in the form of bonuses or overtime.

  • Median Annual Salary: $52,500 ($25.24/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $122,000 ($58.65/hour)

The employment of head teachers is expected to grow at an average rate over the next decade.

Schools will need to hire more head teachers to lead their schools as student enrollment increases and schools expand their programs and services. In addition, schools will need to hire more head teachers to replace those who leave the occupation.

Related: Head Teacher Interview Questions and Answers

Head Teacher Job Requirements

A head teacher is typically required to have the following:

Education: Head teachers are typically required to have a bachelor’s degree in education or a related field, such as psychology or child development. Some schools offer a master’s degree in education administration as well.

Many schools offer a master’s degree in education administration with a concentration in school leadership. This degree program typically takes two years to complete and includes coursework in educational leadership, school finance, school law and school psychology.

Training & Experience: Head teachers typically receive on-the-job training in the form of shadowing a current head teacher or other administrator. This training allows the head teacher to learn the school’s policies and procedures and get to know the students and faculty.

Certifications & Licenses: Heads of schools are not required to have any certifications to earn their position. That said, however, many heads of schools seek certification through the International Academy of School Leadership to demonstrate their commitment to the profession and to furthering their education.

Head Teacher Skills

Head teachers need the following skills in order to be successful:

Communication: As a school leader, it’s important to communicate effectively with your colleagues, students and parents. You can use your communication skills to send emails, hold meetings and give presentations to parents and students. You can also use your communication skills to communicate with other school staff, such as assistant or associate head teachers, to share information and collaborate on projects.

Leadership: Leadership is another skill that a head teacher should have. As a leader, you can motivate your staff and students to work hard and achieve their goals. You can also use your leadership skills to help your staff develop and grow in their careers.

Organization: As a school leader, it’s important to be organized so you can complete all of your tasks on time. This includes planning your lessons, grading assignments and preparing for meetings. Being able to manage your time effectively can also help you be more productive and efficient.

Collaboration: Collaboration is another skill that can help a head teacher succeed in their role. As a head teacher, you may need to collaborate with other administrators, teachers and parents to solve problems, develop new programs and improve the school. Collaboration can also help you delegate tasks and responsibilities to other staff members.

Problem-solving: As a head teacher, you may be responsible for solving issues that arise in the classroom. This can include anything from a student’s behavioral issues to a teacher’s classroom management concerns. Being able to solve problems can help you maintain a positive learning environment for your students.

Head Teacher Work Environment

Head teachers typically work in elementary, middle, or high schools. They may also work in preschools, child care centers, or other educational settings. They typically work full time during school hours, although they may also work evenings and weekends to attend meetings, conferences, and other events related to their job. Head teachers typically have an office at the school where they work, but they may also spend considerable time in the classroom, working with students and teachers. In addition, head teachers may travel to other schools or districts to observe classrooms, meet with other administrators, or attend professional development workshops.

Head Teacher Trends

Here are three trends influencing how head teachers work. Head teachers will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

More Focus on the Social and Emotional Development of Students

The social and emotional development of students is becoming increasingly important in today’s world. This is because schools are now recognizing the importance of preparing students for life after graduation, which requires them to be able to interact with others effectively and manage their emotions.

Head teachers who are able to focus on this area will be more successful in preparing their students for success in the real world. They can do this by creating a positive school culture that promotes healthy relationships between students and teachers, as well as between students themselves. Additionally, they can provide students with opportunities to learn about emotions and how to manage them through activities and lessons.

More Collaboration Between Teachers and Parents

As technology advances, parents are finding new ways to collaborate with teachers in order to help their children succeed.

This trend is being seen in many different ways, such as through the use of online platforms where parents and teachers can communicate about student progress. It is also being seen in the growth of home schooling, which allows parents and teachers to work together in a more intimate setting.

Teachers Will Become More Tech-Savvy

As technology becomes more prevalent in the classroom, teachers will need to become more tech-savvy in order to keep up with the latest trends.

In order to be successful in the future, teachers will need to be able to utilize technology in innovative ways to enhance learning experiences for students. This includes using apps and software to create engaging content, as well as using social media to connect with other educators and share ideas.

How to Become a Head Teacher

A head teacher career can be a rewarding and fulfilling one. However, it’s important to consider all the factors that will influence your success in this role.

One of the most important things is to make sure you have the right skills and experience for the job. This means having a strong educational background, as well as experience working with children and young people. You should also be able to demonstrate leadership skills and have a passion for education.

It’s also important to consider the school culture and environment when deciding on which school to work at. Some schools may be better suited to new head teachers than others, so make sure you do your research before applying for any jobs.

Advancement Prospects

Head teachers typically have several years of experience teaching in their subject area before they are promoted to a head teacher position. Some head teachers are also experienced in school administration, which can be helpful in managing a department or grade level. In addition to their teaching experience, head teachers must have excellent communication and organizational skills.

As a head teacher, you will be responsible for the academic progress of the students in your department or grade level. You will also be responsible for supervising the teachers in your department and ensuring that they are following the school’s curriculum. In some schools, head teachers are also responsible for disciplinary actions.

Head Teacher Job Description Example

We are looking for an experienced and passionate Head Teacher to lead our team of educators and support staff in providing the best possible education for our students. The Head Teacher will be responsible for curriculum development, assessment, and professional development for the teaching staff. In addition, the Head Teacher will create a positive and supportive learning environment for students, parents, and staff. The ideal candidate will have a strong commitment to education and experience working in a school setting. They will be an excellent communicator and have the ability to build relationships with students, parents, and staff.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • To lead and manage the teaching team in order to ensure that all pupils make good progress and achieve their full potential
  • To be a role model for other teachers, demonstrating excellent classroom practice
  • To plan and deliver engaging and effective lessons which meet the needs of all learners
  • To undertake regular observations and provide constructive feedback to staff to help them improve their practice
  • To monitor pupil progress and attainment, intervening where necessary to ensure that all pupils are on track to reach their targets
  • To liaise closely with parents/carers to keep them informed of their child’s progress and to involve them in supporting their learning
  • To work collaboratively with other members of the senior leadership team to contribute to the overall strategic direction of the school
  • To take responsibility for a specific area of the curriculum and to lead on the development and implementation of new initiatives
  • To manage and develop the teaching team through regular performance management reviews and professional development planning
  • To undertake regular self-evaluation and review to ensure that high standards are maintained
  • To participate in whole-school improvement activities such as action research and quality assurance processes
  • To contribute to the wider life of the school community by taking on additional responsibilities such as leading extracurricular clubs or coaching sports teams

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in education or related field
  • Master’s degree preferred
  • State teaching certification
  • 5+ years of teaching experience, with at least 2 years in a leadership role
  • Excellent communication, interpersonal, and organizational skills
  • Demonstrated success in working with students, parents, and staff to achieve school goals

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • National Board Certification
  • Experience as a head teacher or principal
  • Knowledge of current educational best practices and trends
  • Ability to use data to drive decision-making
  • Familiarity with curriculum development and assessment tools


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