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Required experience/qualifications for Headship?

Discussion in 'Headteachers' started by Bentley89, Dec 6, 2011.

  1. Bentley89

    Bentley89 New commenter

    Generally, what or how much experience do you need to take on Headship of a school?
    I ask due to the demise of the NPQH qualification.
    Whilst it isn't likely, does this mean that an NQT could potentially be appointed as a Head? (If the governors were crazy nutjobs!)
  2. Bentley89

    Bentley89 New commenter

    Generally, what or how much experience do you need to take on Headship of a school?
    I ask due to the demise of the NPQH qualification.
    Whilst it isn't likely, does this mean that an NQT could potentially be appointed as a Head? (If the governors were crazy nutjobs!)
  3. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    There was a time before the NPQH, you know. I was a head appointed to my first headship before it existed, so nenver had to do the stupid thing.
    To answer your question - you'd still need the same skill set and experience you needed before, only will not necessarily have to have the NPQH.
    Govering bodies, however, might still insist on it - they have that option.
  4. Those responsible for NPQH have only themselves to blame as it has been one of the most shambolic wastes of time ever invented - mainly due to the people running it having such a high opinion of themselves and doing all they could to keep out of the classroom. Middlemarch and I have made many similar comments over the past few years. I was appointed to headship a long time ago and am one of those who strongly believe that good experience and commitment, with the support of a good role model are most important.
    It is a worry that there is an opinion currently that anyone can be a headteacher, without relevant qualifications. The problem is that NPQH did little to help.
  5. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    I could not agree more!
  6. Bentley89

    Bentley89 New commenter

    So does this mean that there is another qualification you must have to become a headteacher?
  7. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    You have to have whatever the governing body determines are 'essential' qualifications and experience on the job spec.
    In almost every school, this will include a degree plus QTS, significant teaching experience and significant experience as a deputy head.
    But once the NPQH is no longer mandatory (and remember that some GBs might still ask for it), there will be no other specific qualification required.
  8. Bentley89

    Bentley89 New commenter

    Thank you, that's a great help.
  9. becky70

    becky70 New commenter

    Just an observation from an ordinary class teacher - in recent years I have seen quite a few people rise up the ranks rapidly and get into headship very early on. People are now becoming primary heads with less than a decade's teaching experience - they climb the ladder to deputy in a few years, do their NPQH over another two or sometimes less and then they get a headship.
    I would rather work for a head that had considerable teaching and management experience than one who had done the NPQH.
  10. Bentley89

    Bentley89 New commenter

    Completely agree.
  11. Ruthiesword

    Ruthiesword New commenter

    Just read this on NCSL website though
    “We believe the new non mandatory NPQH will become the first choice qualification, ranked alongside the best leadership development in the world, and the mark of quality that governing bodies and academy boards choose to rely on when appointing headteachers and principals, as only the most talented candidates will get through."
    Am not sure why anyone would want to do it though, especially since they've said the criteria will be harder, less personalised, more focused on behaviour and at masters level - Hmm remind you slightly of anyone there Mr Gove? Will NOT be signing up to do mine anytime soon then! Best just carry on learning how to/not to do the job from where I am, like in the good old days.
  12. In defence of NPQH, I did it about 6 years ago and am now on my second successful Headship. I found it invaluable both in terms of the content but also the networking and discussions with other people who were about to step into headship. The focus on good decision making as well as the technical/ legal aspect of the job really helped me reflect on why I made the decisions I did and how the affected others. I have one member of staff currently completing NPQH and she too finds it invaluable. Interestingly, the one member of my group who moaned throughout because he'd been acting Head for 2 years and 'didn't need help doing the job' promptly took his school into Special Measures within two years. After 6 years of headship (and now as an LLE) I still welcome the support offered by my LA sponsored coach - anyone who thinks they can do this job well without the support of others is dilluded.
  13. Bentley89

    Bentley89 New commenter

    How much teaching experience did you have prior to taking on your first headship SouthGlosHead? Presumably you were a Deputy for a while too?
  14. 17 years teaching experience for me before Headship. 9 years as Assistant Head and Deputy Head.
  15. Bentley89

    Bentley89 New commenter

    So was that 9 within the 17 total or was it 26 years in total?
  16. 17 years in total, of which 9 years were SLT (mostly deputy level)
  17. I would add that it is now rare to be appointed to headship without a Masters degree or MBA. It remains to be seen what qualifications schools will wish to see. I have the MBA and NPQH but I think that has only helped me get to interview, whereas I was appointed because of the depth and range of my experience.I guess you could say that the qualifications were simply a means to an end, but I do feel that NPQH was useful.
  18. pixiepretty

    pixiepretty New commenter

    Two points to address, which may be pertinent to different LA's and relate to primary headship. In a large rural LA it isn't necessary to be a Deputy Head, prior to headship.By the very nature of this LA, having many small village schools, DH posts are few and far between. It is recognised within the LA that few teachers from this authority would ever have this experience, but with a good teaching experience may still be appointed to HT of one of these small village schools...where there could be as little as 23 children on role. A high proportion of primary schools in this LA have less than 100 children on role.
    The LA runs it's own 'leadership school' which in the past has prepared teachers for NPQH and given an insight into headship. It is also not necessary to have an MBA, but as stated each GB will set their own criteria for essential skills and qualifications
  19. I did my NPQH in 2006, after ten years of teaching. However, I'd been a deputy for three years and a KS leader in a large Primary for four years before that. Although not as long as some, for me that was about right in gaining the solid grounding in teaching needed to run a school. If anything, 'being close to the classroom' gave me more clout as a HT as I know I could/can still teach in any class. That said, the NPQH was still a really useful part of my career development.

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