Headteacher recruitment: top tips for attracting candidates

Recruiting a headteacher can feel like a daunting task. Read our top tips to make sure you attract the best candidates for your school and take our headteacher recruitment training module to be fully prepared.

Last reviewed on 8 March 2023
School types: AllSchool phases: AllRef: 34357
  1. Start your search as soon as you get notice from your head
  2. Take the time you need to choose the right person
  3. Arrange temporary cover
  4. Conduct an exit interview with the outgoing head
  5. Get a good understanding of what you need in a leader
  6. Get a recruitment pack ready to go
  7. Make sure your online presence is appealing
  8. Advertise your vacancy wisely
  9. How to deal with specific challenges
NEW!Our Headteacher recruitment training module, written and provided by Governors for Schools, sets out key 'need-to-knows' with advice and experience from governors. It will help you feel confident and prepared throughout the recruitment process and carries automatic certification that will be added to your GovernorHub training record on completion.

Start your search as soon as you get notice from your head

The second half of the spring term tends to have the heaviest volume of candidates. But even if you're recruiting in an 'off' period:

  • Take time to think about how to make your advert extra appealing
  • Make sure your website and social media are as enticing as possible

We'll go through how to do both of these things later in this article. Advertising how great your school is online might just be the deciding factor in encouraging your future headteacher to apply.


The Key has taken great care in publishing this article. However, some of the article's content and information may come from or link to third party sources whose quality, relevance, accuracy, completeness, currency and reliability we do not guarantee. Accordingly, we will not be held liable for any use of or reliance placed on this article's content or the links or downloads it provides. This article may contain information sourced from public sector bodies and licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.