What To Look For When Hiring a Deputy Headteacher

Written by Dan

Last updated

When hiring a Deputy Headteacher, schools should look for someone passionate about education and with a strong track record of success.

The Deputy Headteacher will be responsible for supporting the headteacher in leading the school, so finding someone with the skills and knowledge necessary to do this effectively is crucial.

This article will discuss what schools should look for when making this critical decision.

Related: For more, check out our article on How Schools Can Support The Well Being Of Their SLT  here.

CriteriaDescriptionWhy It’s Important
Educational Qualifications– Advanced degree in Education or a related field– Ensures a strong academic foundation and expertise
Leadership Experience– Experience in educational leadership roles, such as department head or senior teacher– Demonstrates ability to lead and manage
Vision and Strategy– Clear educational vision and strategic planning skills– Essential for school development and progress
Interpersonal Skills– Strong communication, negotiation, and conflict resolution abilities– Key for building relationships and fostering a positive school culture
Management Skills– Experience with budgeting, scheduling, and staff development– Necessary for the day-to-day running of the school
Teaching Experience– Significant classroom experience– Provides credibility and insight into teaching and learning
Commitment to Development– Continuous professional development and staying current with educational trends– Shows dedication to personal and school improvement
Student-Centered Approach– Focus on student welfare, achievement, and holistic development– Aligns with the core purpose of education
Collaborative Attitude– Ability to work cooperatively with the headteacher, staff, students, and the wider community– Promotes a team environment and community engagement
Innovative Thinking– Openness to new ideas and approaches in education– Encourages progressive learning and teaching methods

This table provides a structured list of the key qualities and experiences to consider when selecting a candidate for the role of deputy headteacher, which can be used to guide the recruitment process in your article.

What Qualities Should You Look For?

When looking for a deputy headteacher for your senior leadership team, you’ll want to find someone who is responsible, organized, and has a good relationship with the staff and students. Someone well-liked by the staff and students will be a good fit for the position.

Finding someone who can work well with the headteacher and take on some of the responsibilities when the headteacher is unavailable is essential.

The deputy headteacher should also be someone who can discipline the students when necessary and resolve conflict. Ultimately, you want to find someone who is a good fit for the school and can help the school run smoothly.

Related: For more, check out our article on the Top 10 Interview Questions For Teachers here.


What Responsibilities Will The Deputy Headteacher Have?

The deputy headteacher will have several responsibilities in our school system. One of their primary roles will be to assist the headteacher in the day-to-day running of the school.

They will also lead and manage a team of teachers and ensure they deliver quality teaching and learning experiences to our students.

In addition, the deputy headteacher will work closely with other members of senior management to develop and implement school strategy. They will also be required to support and guide staff members and represent the school at external events.

As you can see, the deputy headteacher will have many responsibilities within our school system.

Interview Questions For A Deputy Headteacher Interview:

Question CategorySample Interview Questions
Leadership– How would you describe your leadership style?
– Can you give an example of a successful initiative you have led?
Management Skills– How do you manage and prioritize your workload?
– Describe your experience with budget management in an educational setting.
Educational Philosophy– What is your philosophy on inclusive education?
– How do you balance academic excellence with holistic development?
Teaching and Curriculum– How would you approach curriculum development?
– What strategies do you use to improve teaching standards?
Communication Skills– How do you handle difficult conversations with parents or staff?
– Describe a time when you effectively communicated a change.
Decision Making– Describe a tough decision you’ve made and the outcome.
– How do you involve staff in the decision-making process?
Professional Development– How do you stay current with educational trends?
– How would you support the professional growth of teachers?
Student Welfare– What approaches do you take to support student well-being?
– How do you handle student discipline and behavior issues?
Community Engagement– How would you foster relationships with the wider school community?
– How important is community involvement in school activities?
Vision for the Role– What are your immediate goals if you get this position?
– How do you see the role of deputy head evolving in the next few years?
This table provides a range of questions that cover the essential competencies and experiences relevant to the deputy headteacher role.

How Can You Ensure They Are The Right Fit?

The old saying goes, “The proof is in the pudding.” In other words, the best way to know if someone is a good fit for a job is to try them out in that role. That’s why many schools use a “deputy headteacher” or “acting headteacher” system, where a qualified teacher takes on the duties of headteacher temporarily.

This allows school leaders to understand how the candidate works within the school system and whether they are a good fit for the school’s long-term needs. Of course, it’s not always possible to find a perfect match, but this process can help to ensure that the deputy headteacher is a good fit for your school.

How Much Should You Expect To Pay??

When deciding how much to pay a deputy headteacher salary, there are a few factors to consider. Of course, you’ll want to consider the individual’s experience and qualifications.

However, you’ll also need to factor in the size of the school and the number of students they’ll be responsible for.

Generally, you can expect to pay a deputy headteacher salary of around £50,000 annually. However, this figure can vary depending on the specific circumstances. As for benefits, deputy headteachers should receive the same benefits as other staff members, including a competitive salary and pension scheme.

In addition, they should also receive guidance and support from the headteacher to help them fulfil their role effectively.

How Do You Hire?

The hiring process can seem daunting, but it can be a breeze with a bit of planning! Here are the basic steps involved:

First, you need to identify your needs. What type of position are you looking to fill? What skills and experience is the ideal candidate required to have? Once you have a clear idea of what you’re looking for, you can create your job listing.

Next, you’ll need to advertise the position. You can post the listing on job boards, social media, or print ads. Just be sure to include all the crucial details like job title, salary, and how to apply.

Once you start receiving applications, it’s time to start reviewing them. Look for candidates who meet all your requirements and seem like a good fit for the company culture. Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, it’s time to start scheduling interviews.

During the interview process, get to know each candidate and ask questions that will help you gauge their suitability for the role. After interviewing all the candidates, it’s time to make your decision. Choose the candidate you feel is the best overall fit for the position and extend an offer!

Hiring doesn’t have to be stressful – follow these simple steps, and you’ll be well on your way to finding your perfect match!

These are just a few things you should consider when hiring a deputy headteacher for your school system. By taking the time to think about what qualities and characteristics you’re looking for and what responsibilities the position will have, you can be sure that you find the right fit for your school. And, once you’ve found the perfect candidate, be prepared to offer them a competitive salary and benefits package.

Finally, follow the proper steps in the hiring process to ensure everything goes smoothly—from advertising to interviewing candidates to making an offer. With these tips in mind, you’ll be on your way to finding the best possible deputy headteacher for your school.


Q: What should I look for when hiring a deputy headteacher?

A: When hiring a deputy headteacher, consider their experience and qualifications first. You’ll also want to factor in the size of the school and the number of students they’ll be responsible for.

Q: What are the primary responsibilities of a Deputy Headteacher?

A: The primary responsibilities of a deputy headteacher include assisting the headteacher in leading, managing and administering school operations. This includes overseeing staff, curriculum development, budgeting, student discipline and more.

Q: What is a typical deputy headteacher’s salary?

A: The average salary for a deputy headteacher is around £50,000 per year. However, this figure can vary depending on the specific circumstances. Benefits should equal those of other staff members, including a competitive salary and pension plan.

Q: How can I make sure I find the right candidate for the job?

A: Make sure to review all applications carefully, to ensure that you’re selecting someone who meets your criteria and is a good fit for your school. Also, be sure to ask pertinent questions during the interview process to get an accurate picture of each candidate’s suitability for the role

Q: Can a deputy’s head be part-time?

A: Fewer than 4% of deputy headteachers and 3% of headteachers work part-time.

Q: What makes a good deputy headteacher?

A: A good deputy headteacher should be organized, have a strong knowledge of current educational practices, and have excellent communication skills. They should also possess the ability to inspire and motivate staff and students, as well as demonstrate leadership qualities and an understanding of school policies

About The Author

I'm Dan Higgins, one of the faces behind The Teaching Couple. With 15 years in the education sector and a decade as a teacher, I've witnessed the highs and lows of school life. Over the years, my passion for supporting fellow teachers and making school more bearable has grown. The Teaching Couple is my platform to share strategies, tips, and insights from my journey. Together, we can shape a better school experience for all.






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