Head of school

Victoria Academies Trust
Cannock, Staffordshire
Head of School L15 to L19
11 Jan 2019
08 Feb 2019
Sarah Hulmes
Contract Type
Working Pattern

Head of School (Associate Headteacher)



The Head of School is an Associate post, reflecting the role of the Executive Headteacher who assumes full legal responsibility as Headteacher of the academy (defined in the current School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions Document).

The core purpose of the Head of School (Associate Headteacher) at Poppyfield Primary Academy is to provide professional leadership and management of the school within the context of a multi-academy trust. Second only to the Executive Headteacher, the Head of School is the leading professional in the academy. Accountable to the Executive Headteacher and Board of Trustees, the Head of School ensures the academy is effectively managed and organised to meet the objectives and strategic priorities of the trust.

The Head of School is responsible for evaluating the school’s performance to identify the priorities for continuous improvement; raising standards; ensuring equality of opportunity for all; developing policies and practices; ensuring that resources are efficiently and effectively deployed to achieve the school’s aims and objectives and for the day-to-day management, organisation and administration of the school. The Head of School is responsible for ensuring that all statutory requirements are met and the work of the school is effectively monitored, evaluated and reviewed.

The powers that are delegated to the Head of School are essentially as per those of a Deputy Headteacher when assuming responsibility of the school in the Headteacher’s absence. For the avoidance of doubt, this means that the Head of School will not be able to permanently exclude a pupil or suspend a member of staff without seeking consent from the Executive Headteacher. It is the name of the Executive Headteacher that shall appear on Ofsted reports and on Edubase.

Leadership Scale Range

The pay range for Head of School at Poppyfield Primary Academy is L15 to L19 and is subject to an annual performance related pay increment.

The Head of School is responsible to:

The Executive Headteacher

The Head of School is responsible for:

All academy–based staff (with the exception of the Executive Headteacher)

Employment duties

To be performed in accordance with the provisions of the School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions Document and within the range of teachers’ duties set out in that document.

General professional duties will include and are not limited to:

Vision, Ethos and Strategic Direction

  • Implement the vision, ethos and strategic direction as determined by the trustees through the trust strategic plan and that of the Executive Headteacher. They should be clearly articulated through a school improvement plan, shared, understood and acted upon effectively by all.
  • Working within the school community and multi-academy trust to translate the vision into agreed objectives and operational plans which will promote and sustain continual school improvement and a sense of team ownership.
  • Demonstrating the vision and values in everyday work and practice.
  • Motivating and working with others to create a shared culture and positive climate.
  • Ensuring creativity, innovation and the use of appropriate new technologies and initiatives to achieve excellence.
  • Ensuring that strategic planning takes account of the diversity, values and experience of the school and community at large.
  • Maintaining high morale and setting an example of high quality performance in standards and leadership.

Leading Learning and Teaching

  • Securing and sustaining effective teaching and learning throughout the school, monitoring and evaluating the quality of teaching and standards of pupils’ achievement, and using benchmarks and setting targets for improvement.
  • Ensuring a culture and ethos of challenge and support where all pupils can achieve success and become engaged in their own learning.
  • Demonstrating and articulating high expectations and setting challenging targets for the whole school community.
  • Implementing strategies that secure high standards of behavior and attendance.
  • Implementing an immersive, real and purposeful child-led curriculum as well as implementing an effective whole school assessment framework.
  • Taking a strategic role in the development of new and emerging technologies to enhance and extend the learning experience of pupils.
  • Challenging underperformance at all levels and ensuring effective corrective action and follow-up.

Developing Self and Working with Others

  • Treating people fairly, equitably and with dignity and respect to create and maintain a positive school culture.
  • Building a collaborative learning culture within the school and actively engaging with other schools and organisations to build effective learning partnerships.
  • Developing and maintaining effective strategies and procedures for staff induction, professional development and appraisal and reporting the impact to the Executive Headteacher and local governing body.
  • Ensuring effective planning, allocation, support and evaluation of work undertaken by teams and individuals, ensuring clear delegation of tasks and delegation of responsibilities.
  • Acknowledging the responsibilities and celebrating the achievements of individuals and teams.
  • Developing and maintaining a culture of high expectations for self and for others and taking appropriate action when performance is unsatisfactory.
  • Regularly reviewing own practice, setting personal targets, and taking responsibility for own personal development in conjunction with the aims and values of the academy.
  • Managing own workload and that of others to allow an appropriate work/life balance.
  • In consultation with the Executive Headteacher, appointing high quality staff at all levels to ensure continued levels of performance to achieve the aims and objectives of the school.
  • Liaising, engaging and working in partnership with other Headteachers within the Trust.


Managing the Organisation

  • Creating an organisation structure that reflects the school’s values, and enables the management systems, structures and processes to work effectively in line with legal requirements and by adopting the appropriate policies of the multi-academy trust.
  • Producing and implementing clear, evidence-based improvement plans and policies for the development of the school and its facilities.
  • Managing the school’s financial and human resources in order to ensure effectiveness and efficiency in achieving the school’s educational goals and priorities.
  • In consultation with the Executive Headteacher, recruiting, retaining and deploying staff appropriately and managing their workload to achieve the vision and goals of the school.
  • Implementing successful performance management processes with all staff.
  • Managing and organising the school environment efficiently and effectively to ensure that it meets the needs of the curriculum and health and safety regulations.
  • Ensuring that the progress of each pupil is monitored and recorded so that decisions can be made about the next steps of the child’s education.
  • Ensuring the assessment requirements of the national curriculum are implemented.
  • Ensuring that the range, quality and use of all available resources is monitored, evaluated and reviewed to improve the quality of education for all pupils and providing value for money.
  • Being responsible for promoting and safeguarding the welfare of all pupils at the school and to assume the role of Designated Safeguarding Lead.
  • Using and integrating a range of technologies effectively and efficiently to manage the school.

Accountability and Governance

  • Being accountable to the local governing body and other stakeholders such as pupils and parents for the efficiency and effectiveness of the academy, including performance, human, financial and physical resources, delegated budget and health and safety of all pupils and adults.
  • Developing a school ethos, which enables everyone to work collaboratively, share knowledge and understanding, celebrate success and accepting responsibility for outcomes.
  • Assisting and advising the governing body on the formulation of an annual school improvement plan that is implemented collectively by all members of the school community.
  • Ensuring individual staff accountabilities are clearly defined, understood and agreed and are subject to rigorous review and evaluation in keeping with appraisal regulations.
  • Using a range of evidence, including national data and own schools performance data, to support, monitor, evaluate and improve aspects of school life, including challenging poor performance.
  • Working closely with the governing body and stakeholders by providing information, objective advice and support to enable them to meet their responsibilities.
  • Developing suitable quality assurance systems, including school review, self-evaluation and performance management and presenting a coherent, understandable and accurate account of the school’s performance to a range of audiences including directors, governors, parents and Ofsted.
  • Reflecting on personal contribution to school achievements and taking account of feedback from others.

Partnerships, Parents and Community

  • Ensuring the school culture and curriculum reflects the richness of the school community.
  • Providing a range of community-based learning experiences including the championing of the social enterprise.
  • Collaborating with other agencies in protecting children and providing for the academic, spiritual, moral, social, emotional and cultural well-being of pupils and their families.
  • Creating a wholly inclusive environment whereby all pupils with physical or learning needs can be welcomed and supported appropriately.
  • Creating and promoting positive strategies for challenging racial and other prejudice and dealing with racial harassment.
  • Creating and maintaining an effective partnership with parents and carers to support and improve pupils’ achievement and personal development.
  • Ensuring parents have access to appropriate and up to date information about the school.
  • Ensuring parents have information about the progress of their child.
  • Seeking opportunities to invite parents, community figures, businesses or other organisations into the school to enhance and enrich the school and its value to the wider community.
  • Contributing to the development of the school and trust brand by sharing effective practice, working in partnership with other schools and promoting innovative initiatives.
  • Promoting and actively engaging in the work of the Smethwick Collaboration of Schools (SCOS).
  • Engaging fully with the work of the multi-academy trust by attending Executive Leadership Team meetings and taking shared responsibility for the improvement of all the schools in the trust.


  1. This job description is not necessarily a comprehensive definition of the post.
  2. The particular duties and responsibilities listed above may be subject to reasonable change from time to time following consultation between the Executive Headteacher and the postholder.


PERSON SPECIFICATION The panel will assess applications against the following attributes.

Qualifications and training

  • Qualified teacher status (as recognised by the Department for Education)
  • Successful completion of significant additional study relating directly to the education of primary-aged pupils and/or the management and organisation of a school.
  • Participation in recent, relevant in-service training.


  • Knowledge and understanding of the role and responsibilities of senior leaders and governing bodies within primary schools.
  • Experience of non-class based, whole school responsibilities within a successful senior management team. Substantive non class based experience in a head of school, deputy or assistant head role is desirable.
  • Experience of successfully leading teams staff deliver improvements and initiatives.
  • The ability to:
    • think strategically and to plan effectively in both the short and long term;
    • embrace, lead and manage change effectively within an organisation;
    • inspire, motivate and support pupils, staff, parents (and carers), governors and the wider community about the work of a school;
    • engage effectively and collaboratively with school governors, encouraging others to do the same;
    • consult, seek advice and be pragmatic when making decisions;
    • motivate a body of staff and maintain their resilience in the face of adversity;
    • communicate effectively with, listen to, and learn from pupils, staff, parents (and carers), governors and other members of the community;
    • promote the professional development of all staff.

Commitment to excellence in education

  • Robust knowledge and understanding of recent developments and legislative changes in education and how these impact on the leadership and management of a primary school.
  • Substantial and high quality experience of teaching within the primary national curriculum.
  • Experience of teaching in an inner-city or culturally diverse environment is desirable.
  • Commitment to raising the academic and personal achievement of pupils significantly and to holding high expectations of all children.
  • Understanding of effective assessment in education and its use to promote the academic progression for pupils.
  • A proven ability to deliver a differentiated curriculum to pupils with a diverse range of social, emotional, cultural, intellectual and physical needs.
  • The ability to:
    • demonstrate a commitment to inclusion, ensuring all pupils have the opportunity to participate in a full range of curricular and enriched extra- curricular activities;
    • promote a positive ethos and pride in a school and its physical environment together;
    • develop and maintain high standards of behaviour among pupils;
    • raise standards and significantly improve achievement;
    • innovate to make learning Real, Immersive and Purposeful for pupils.

Equal Opportunities

  • Commitment to promoting, implementing and monitoring equal opportunities across all aspects of the school.


  • Understanding of school self-evaluation and the processes involved in becoming an effective self-evaluating school.
  • Understanding of school finance and budgets.
  • Understanding of effective performance management processes for staff.
  • The ability to:
    • work co-operatively with a range of external agencies within a local area and beyond;
    • delegate and manage staff workload effectively;
    • devise and implement effective measures for the performance of the  school using inspection reports, data and research and to keep these measures under systematic review;
    • use management information systems, in particular, IT systems to drive school improvement. Some knowledge of an IT system for school administration;
    • manage finance efficiently in accordance with the agreed priorities and delegated authority of the school; and
    • pursue additional funding and resources for the benefit of the school community.
    • Work within the clear values of our Multi academy Trust and be able to use these as the driver for all decisions that you make.

Values and ethos ·

To be able to demonstrate a commitment to the values and ethos of Victoria Academies Trust.  

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