Career Development

What Does a Head Teacher Do?

Find out what a Head Teacher does, how to get this job, salary information, and what it takes to succeed as a Head Teacher.

The Head Teacher stands at the helm of educational leadership within a school, steering both teaching staff and students towards achieving academic excellence and fostering a positive learning environment. This role involves a strategic blend of administrative acumen and educational insight, ensuring that the school’s curriculum is not only adhered to but also enriched to meet the diverse needs of its student body. By mentoring teachers, the Head Teacher enhances instructional methodologies, while also serving as a primary liaison between the school and the wider community, including parents and educational authorities. Their overarching aim is to cultivate a school culture that values continuous learning, respect, and inclusivity, thereby preparing students not just for academic success but for their future roles in society.

Head Teacher Job Duties

  • Develop and implement comprehensive educational strategies that align with national curriculum standards and cater to the needs of all students.
  • Manage school finances, including budgeting, procurement, and allocation of resources, to ensure efficient use of funds and materials.
  • Oversee the recruitment, training, and evaluation of teaching and administrative staff to maintain high educational standards and a professional work environment.
  • Foster a safe, inclusive, and supportive school culture that encourages student engagement, discipline, and personal development.
  • Liaise with parents, guardians, and the wider community to build strong partnerships, enhance communication, and promote the school’s objectives and achievements.
  • Implement and monitor policies and procedures for the operation of the school, ensuring compliance with legal and educational requirements.
  • Coordinate extracurricular activities and school events that promote learning, cultural awareness, and community involvement.
  • Lead innovation in teaching methods and curriculum design to incorporate technology, address diverse learning needs, and prepare students for future challenges.

Head Teacher Salary & Outlook

A Head Teacher’s salary is influenced by the school’s size, type (public vs. private), and funding. Experience and a track record of improving school performance significantly impact earnings. Specialization in high-demand subjects can also affect salary. Leadership roles beyond headship, such as involvement in educational boards, may offer additional compensation.

  • Median Annual Salary: $55,125 ($26.5/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.

This growth is driven by increasing student enrollments, the continuous need for educational leadership, and the retirement of current Head Teachers. Additionally, the expansion of educational programs and schools necessitates more Head Teachers to oversee curriculum, staff, and school operations effectively.

Head Teacher Job Requirements

Education: A Head Teacher typically holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Education or a related field, with many also pursuing further education such as a Master’s Degree or Post-Baccalaureate Certificate. Relevant majors include Educational Leadership, Curriculum and Instruction, or School Administration. Coursework often covers topics like pedagogy, educational psychology, and school law, preparing individuals for the multifaceted responsibilities of leading educational institutions and ensuring a high standard of teaching and learning.

Experience: Head Teachers often come from diverse backgrounds, with a significant portion starting without prior experience. Many progress into the role after gaining practical exposure in teaching or educational administration, benefiting from on-the-job training. Others may transition after short-term roles in educational settings, where they acquire foundational skills in classroom management, curriculum development, and student engagement. Training programs, mentorship, and hands-on experience in educational leadership are crucial for those aspiring to become Head Teachers, equipping them with the necessary competencies to lead and inspire.

Certifications & Licenses: Head Teachers typically require state-specific teaching licenses and may need additional certifications in educational leadership or administration, such as a Principal or School Administrator License. Special education certifications can be beneficial depending on the role. No certifications or licenses are recommended, beneficial, or sometimes needed beyond these common requirements.

Head Teacher Skills

Curriculum Development: Coordinating with faculty, Head Teachers ensure the curriculum not only meets educational standards and institutional goals but also engages students effectively. Their role involves integrating subject matter expertise with pedagogical strategies, tailored to the unique needs of the student body, while promoting an environment ripe for continuous improvement and innovation.

Educational Leadership: Guiding the school’s vision to align with educational standards and community expectations falls under the purview of Head Teachers. They strategize, communicate effectively, and inspire all school stakeholders—teachers, students, and parents—to work towards shared educational objectives, thereby fostering professional growth among staff.

Staff Evaluation: A nuanced approach is required for evaluating staff performance, combining objective assessments with insights into individual teacher needs and classroom dynamics. Head Teachers use this skill to encourage professional development, pinpoint areas needing improvement, and maintain high teaching and learning standards.

Conflict Resolution: Addressing disagreements and tensions among staff, students, and parents demands diplomacy and decisive action. Head Teachers quickly identify conflict roots, promote open communication, and seek collaborative solutions to sustain a harmonious school environment.

Budget Management: Allocating resources wisely is crucial for Head Teachers to meet educational and operational demands without jeopardizing the school’s financial stability. They strike a balance between investing in quality resources, upkeeping facilities, and supporting extracurricular activities, all within budgetary limits and optimizing fund use.

Student Achievement Analysis: By examining student achievement data, Head Teachers pinpoint educational trends and improvement areas. They adjust curricula and teaching methods based on standardized test results and classroom assessments, aiming to cater to the diverse needs of students and foster academic growth across the board.

Head Teacher Work Environment

A Head Teacher operates within an educational setting that is both dynamic and structured. Their workspace is often a blend of administrative offices and classroom environments, equipped with standard educational tools and technology to facilitate both teaching and administrative duties. Work hours extend beyond the traditional school day, with early starts, late finishes, and occasional weekend commitments for events or planning.

The dress code is professional yet practical, reflecting the dual nature of their role as both educator and administrator. The culture within the school is collaborative, with a strong emphasis on fostering a supportive and inclusive environment for staff and students alike. Interaction with others is a constant, involving students, teachers, parents, and external stakeholders, making communication skills vital.

Health and safety are paramount, with policies and procedures in place to ensure a safe learning environment. The pace of work is steady and can be demanding, with the school year dictating cycles of busier periods. Professional development opportunities are encouraged to ensure the Head Teacher remains at the forefront of educational leadership and innovation.

Advancement Prospects

A Head Teacher can advance to higher administrative roles within the education sector, such as Superintendent or Director of Education, overseeing multiple schools or an entire district. This progression requires a deep understanding of educational policies, leadership skills, and a track record of successful school management.

To accomplish these advancements, a Head Teacher should focus on improving school performance metrics, including student achievement and teacher satisfaction. Demonstrating the ability to innovate and implement effective educational strategies is crucial. Additionally, experience with budget management and stakeholder engagement can distinguish a candidate for higher-level positions.

Engaging in regional or national educational initiatives can also provide visibility and opportunities for advancement. Leading projects that have a broader impact beyond one’s school showcases the ability to operate at a higher administrative level.


What Does an Equine Dentist Do?

Back to Career Development

What Does a Gastroenterology Nurse Do?