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How to become a deputy head teacher at a Primary School

What is a Deputy Head Teacher?

A deputy head teacher is the second most senior position in a primary school. On a day to day basis they establish aims and objectives, formulate new policies, manage fellow staff and monitor progress towards the achievement of the schools aims and objectives. When the schools head teacher is absent they take over the reign for the time being.

What qualifications do I need to become a Deputy Head Teacher?

You will need both a degree and QTS.

What skills/experience will an employer look for?

-A truly outstanding teacher 

-Somebody who is able to demonstrate a proven track record of developing quality teaching and learning

-Experienced and knowledgeable in a key area, e.g. maths or English, KS1 or KS2 

-Passionate about raising and maintaining high standards 

-Able to inspire, motivate and support staff to achieve outstanding outcomes through quality first teaching 

-Able to bring energy, vision and enthusiasm to the post 

-Ambitious and seek further development 

What salary can I expect?


What is my career progression?

The next progression could be to become a head teacher.

What are the best things about being a Deputy Head?

Being a deputy is very rewarding as you gain a real insight in to the management of the school as a whole as well as playing a crucial role in it. You’ll either continue your role as a teacher (teaching deputy), more popular and common in smaller schools or to concentrate more on management (non-teaching deputy) more common in larger schools. Either way, you will obtain valuable experience which could stand you in good stead to be able to one day becoming a Head Teacher yourself.

Are there any drawbacks?

There will be considerable more responsibility in this role, although your annual wage will be significantly more than a regular teacher.

More Information:

For more information, advice and guidance about careers in Education, PE, Sport, Training and Fitness and Activity Holiday Jobs, visit our Careers Advice Centre; including job hunting tips,  CV Guide and much more.

Useful Links:

For more information on how to Get into teaching visit the Department for Education.

For more info about how to gain QTS please visit the Department of Education and the  National College for Teaching & Leadership

Visit UCAS to investigate and apply for relevant PE teaching courses, and PGCEs at University.

The Association of Physical Education is the national subject association for PE.

The National Union for Teachers are the major teaching union and can provide you with professional support and guidance throughout your career in teaching.

For information about temporary and supply work, please see our How to become a PE Supply Teacher section.

Thinking about Returning to Teaching after a Career break?  

Schools are often keen to employ qualified teachers who have returned to teaching as they can often bring additional skills, experiences and perspectives to the school environment.  If you are considering returning to teaching there is a lot of help, advice and resources available from Dept of Education’s Get into Teaching – Returning to Teaching website.