Job type


£44k - £115.5k

Typical salary

35 – 37

Hours per week

Headteachers manage schools, and create the right conditions for children and staff to achieve their best.

More info

  • Lead a team of teachers and other staff as the head of a school
  • Rewarding work, helping young people succeed, but also challenging and with significant responsibility
  • You'll usually work your way up from being a teacher first

As a headteacher, your role will depend on your experience; you could work in primary, secondary, special or independent schools and academies.


  • Set the school's values and communicate them to pupils, staff, parents and the community
  • Create and maintain a healthy and safe space for learning
  • Decide staff priorities and delegate tasks
  • Set high expectations of achievement for staff and pupils
  • Keep to rules on equal opportunities
  • Use data to track performance and produce reports
  • Inform parents and pupils about progress
  • Select, support, assess and develop staff
  • Lead and attend meetings
  • Control school finances
  • Work with external advisers and school governors


In state schools, pay depends on the number and age of pupils in a school. Some schools have their own pay policies linked to performance. Independent schools set their own pay.

Headteachers get quite long holidays but you'll usually spend some holiday time working. You'll also attend meetings outside school hours.

You'll need

To be a headteacher, you'll need knowledge of teaching and the ability to design courses, knowledge of English language, customer service, leadership and business management skills, the ability to work well with others, and the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure.

To become a headteacher you'll need experience as a teacher, and usually several years' experience as a deputy head or other senior manager. You can take professional development training to help with this, such as the National Professional Qualification for Senior Leadership (NPQSL) or the National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH).

You'll usually need qualified teacher status (QTS) to teach in a state school, and to pass DBS checks.


Due to the variety of schools in the UK, there are opportunities to move between different types and sizes of school. You could also train to be an Ofsted inspector, an education adviser, or become a teacher training lecturer in a college or university.