Deputy head teacher

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Paul Roberts is deputy head teacher at a primary school. You may think that all teachers spend most of their time in the classroom, but Paul's job involves a wide range of skills from teaching to planning and staff development.

Can you describe your role as a deputy head teacher?

As deputy head teacher my role is a combination of teaching, management and leadership. I do not have a class of my own, although I do provide cover for teaching colleagues who go on training courses or who need to be away from their class for any reason. This means I can be required to teach children from nursery stage through to Year 6. This could be any subject from maths or English to art. I teach up to two days a week.

What do you do when you are not teaching?

I work alongside the head teacher on management issues to ensure the school runs smoothly and that day-to-day matters are dealt with. This could involve meeting parents, talking to children or teachers who are having problems and supporting teaching assistants in their role.

I also organise staff meetings. I get involved in work being done at the school by outside contractors. For example, if we have builders in who are installing a new classroom.

Do you manage staff?

I act as a team leader for the performance management of a group of teachers. Over the year, I observe their teaching, set targets and have review meetings. This means that I can identify areas where training is needed. I organise both external and internal training courses for all teachers at the school.

I am also responsible for the induction of newly-qualified teachers. When they are not teaching classes, I work with them on various aspects of a teacher's job, such as planning, marking and assessment to ensure that they understand the required standards.

What qualities do you need to do your job as a deputy head teacher?

Teachers must be able to enthuse children, and a deputy head also needs to be able to motivate colleagues, so enthusiasm and commitment are vital in this job. Learning is not easy for some children, so empathy and perseverance are also important. My job is very varied, so I need to be adaptable. Problem solving skills and an open mind are essential. A good sense of humour is another useful quality.

What hours do you work?

I get to school for 7.30am and leave at approximately 5pm every week day during term time. If necessary I take work home too.

What do you like most about your work? Being a teacher means I can make a positive impact on society by helping future citizens to learn. As a deputy head I can do this on a wider scale and influence the learning of an entire school rather than just one class at a time.

Paul's route to his deputy head teacher job

  • A levels.
  • BA (Hons): Primary Education (Junior Years).
  • Class teacher.
  • Promoted to deputy head teacher.
  • NPQH (National Professional Qualification for Headship) a two-year, part-time course, taken while working.

Paul's deputy head teacher tip

  • Before deciding to do a teaching course, get as much experience as you can of working with children in a classroom.

Deputy head teacher related jobs












  • Nursery nurse
  • Nursery school teacher
  • Special educational needs teacher
  • Teaching assistant
  • Youth and community worker

Salary of a deputy head teacher

  • As a newly qualified teacher (NQT), you can expect to start on a scale that ranges from £18,105 to £26,460 (£21,522 to £30,000 in Inner London).
  • In Scotland, you would start on at least £18,000 and be on a scale that reaches £28,707 working as a classroom teacher in a state school.

How to become a deputy head teacher

  • Teachers in schools need to achieve Qualified Teacher Status. This means they usually have a degree that includes a teaching qualification or a degree followed by a one-year, fulltime teacher training course.
  • Entry requirements are at least two A levels and three GCSE (A-C) grades in other subjects.
  • There are two employment-based training routes: the Registered Teacher Programme (RTP)   you should have completed at least two years full-time degree study (or the equivalent); or the Graduate Teacher Programme (GTP)

Modified: 16 June 2013

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