Become a headteacher


Head in a new direction

Headteachers have a key role to play in the life of their school. They help shape the lives of their learners, provide support for their colleagues, and have an influence that can be felt throughout the wider community.

As a headteacher, you have the opportunity to steer the direction of your school and its curriculum, and make a positive difference to learners and staff.

Yes, it’s a challenging role. But that’s one of the reasons people love it. You’ll have different priorities to balance, and important decisions to make on a daily basis. There’s never a dull moment. And when you’re ready to take on the next challenge in your career, you’ll find it hugely rewarding.

"To anyone considering progressing their career to headteacher I would say: be brave, trust yourself and accept it’s a journey. The biggest resource you have in education is your peers. It’s a challenging job, but the best advice you can get is from other teachers; no one understands what you’re going through better than them."Terry McCann – Headteacher at King's Park Primary School

You’ll have full support and training to help you get there. And alongside your drive and determination to make a real difference, you’ll be well equipped to take on the responsibility and rise to the challenge.

Into Headship

Into Headship is Scotland’s national development programme for aspiring headteachers. The fully funded ‘Into Headship’ qualification has been specifically designed to help experienced teachers meet the requirements for the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTC Scotland) Standard for Headship. The Standard for Headship is a mandatory requirement for all permanently appointed headteachers in publicly funded schools in Scotland. You’ll be awarded the Standard for Headship on successful completion of the Into Headship programme.

If you are currently outwith Scotland and considering a move to Scotland as a headteacher, you’ll find information about equivalent qualifications on the GTC Scotland website.

The only way is up

The Into Headship programme provides you with the learning you need to develop your leadership skills, and prepare you for the strategic challenges of the headteacher role. The programme is also a great springboard for helping you feel emotionally prepared. And completing the programme can help you gain vital confidence in taking that next step in your career.

Since achieving the Into Headship qualification, Anita Buchan – headteacher at Burnhaven School in Peterhead – says that the learning helped her feel much more positive about exploring new opportunities to learn more about teaching and leadership.

Learn more about the Into Headship qualification here.

Headteachers’ Stories

Leading a team of teachers can be rewarding. And very few leadership roles outside teaching allow you to stay so ‘hands on’ as the most senior member of a team.

Find out more about the benefits of becoming a headteacher by reading our case studies. You’ll gain some great insights into the role, and what headteachers enjoy about their work.

You can also look at our headteacher blogs or rewatch our event on Progression in Teaching.

Read the case studies below where current headteachers tell us what they love about their job.

"There are many rewarding aspects to this role, especially when I see confidence and leadership within my teams. As a manager, it is important from the outset to bring all staff together and develop a shared and clear understanding of where the school is in terms of its profile within the community, attainment and achievement and curriculum development."Maureen Macdonald – Headteacher Port Ellen and Bowmore Primaries

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