Job description and person specification: headteacher

Use our model job description and person specification to help you recruit for your next headteacher - it's based on the Headteachers' Standards 2020.

updated on 5 September 2023
School types: All · School phases: Primary
Ref: 4705
  1. Download our model job description
  2. Make sure your job advert is compliant
  3. Find example job descriptions

If you're currently recruiting, use our headteacher recruitment overview to support you through the entire process.

Download our model job description

Use our model job description and person specification to recruit your next headteacher - it's suitable for both primary and secondary schools.

Adapt it to suit your school’s context, needs and priorities (for example, if you're in a multi academy trust (MAT), you can add details about how you expect the headteacher to work with other schools in the trust and with the trust central team). 

Our job description is based on the Headteachers' Standards 2020 - see our summary of the headteachers' standards.

Make sure your job advert is compliant

Maintained schools: your governing board must advertise this role appropriately. 

Academies: you're not required to advertise this position internally or externally, but it's good practice to do so.

Find out about the requirements for advertising a headteacher vacancy, including on safeguarding and equality legislation.

Find example job descriptions

Because schools normally only post job descriptions when they're actively recruiting headteachers, your best option is to seek out active job listings at the point when you're recruiting yourself.

  • The Department for Education (DfE) has a website devoted to teaching vacancies where you can narrow your search by role and by locations across the UK
  • Tes runs a jobs board that extends internationally
  • eTeach has a jobs board that allows you to search by type of school as well as by role and location


Jacqueline Baker is an education consultant who specialises in senior leadership recruitment. She supports schools through the recruitment process and helps them develop leadership capacity. Jacqueline also has experience as a chair of a governing body.

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