Dear all I'm just about to finish my third year of teaching and go into my fourth year at the same school I was at when I was an NQT. I am 25 years old and shall be 26 when this query becomes relevant. Whilst I considered leaving this year to seek a Head of Department role (History) I decided to stay to see my Year 10 tutor group, who I have had since the end of Year 7, through to Year 11 next year. For two of the three past years and continuing in to next year, I have been a defacto Second in Department, though not paid or recognised formally. I have led half of the department (a split site) and its staff, resources etc and dealt with many issues. I have also been for a year now and carrying it on in September, a very active Gifted and Talented Coordinator. I have done a lot in this role, such as whole school events, G&T school trips, mentoring underachievers, providing INSET, working with SLT and managing a G&T Staff Group of 22 people. I have provided leadership of this group and together we have raised the profile of G&T and are steadily improving performance. I have lots of ideas where I want to take the role from September and a really supportive Deputy Head who is working alongside me. I am extremely ambitious and hardworking. All of my observed lessons have been classed as "outstanding" and I easily develop positive relationships with colleagues and students. I have also recently completed a M.Ed degree and am looking for my next challenge. I would also say that I have a very positive and commanding presence in all situations. My question is, does this put me in a suitable place to be a successful candidate for Assistant Headship? I am still on the MPS (4 from Sept) and am beginning to put together evidence for Threshold. Also, does not being a HOD hinder my chances, if they exist at all? Does what I have explained above compensate for not being a HOD or is this a route that is essential? I know that every place is different, though is it a "golden rule"? Any thoughts would be really welcome. I am single so have no problem in moving to new places to take jobs at good schools. Thanks. J.