School Head of Department Jobs, Role, Responsibilities & Description

School Head of Department, Jobs, Role, Responsibilities & DescriptionA school head of department jobs (HOD) position commonly in a secondary school is one of the most important roles at a school, in a core stem subject such as English, mathematics or science’s it is vital.

With 5 years plus successful secondary school teaching experience as a subject department lead teacher brings knowledge from years of classroom teaching and a department head at a school should also have gained basic leadership attributes to become an effective leader.


School head of department jobs

School Head of Performing Arts Vacancy, Beckenham, Kent, January 2022

Head of Art & Technology, School, Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex


HOD Meaning

A person is given the responsibility as head of one department at a school. Specific professional duties for a subject lead teacher meaning provides school leadership and management for a subject or phase of learning ensuring high quality teaching, effective use of resources and enhanced learning.


Role of head of department in school

Primary role of a subject academic head is to provide strong academic leadership. The department head has a reduced teaching timetable where they are given the responsibility to manage all recourses including teaching staff to enable the best possible teaching & learning for students.

Department head’s aim to achieve best possible outcomes in teaching standard and student grades through academic and managerial leadership.


School head of department salary

In England department head teacher salary £26,948 – £42,780 pa FTE, pro-rata depending on point of salary scale.

Also in addition schools typically offer TLR points from £2,873 pa to $12,000 pa and R & R Allowance of £2,800.


Head of department role & responsibilities in addition to the duties of a teacher:


Knowledge and Understanding

  • The school’s aim, priorities, targets and action plans.
  • Relationship of the subject to the curriculum as a whole.
  • Standards of teaching, learning and achievement for all students.


Planning and Setting Expectations

  • Establish with team members, plans for the development and resourcing of the subject which follow the school planning format.
  • Ensure school and department plans are understood by all those involved in putting them into practice.
  • Implement target setting for pupils and all department teachers


Teaching and Managing Students’ Learning

  • Curriculum coverage, continuity and progression for all students, including those of high ability and those with special learning or language barrier needs.
  • Ensure team members are clear about the teaching objectives and the importance of sequencing activities to develop understanding of the subject.
  • Provide guidance on the appropriate teaching different students.
  • Develop effective development of students’ literacy, numeracy and ICT skills.
  • Organise suitable cover arrangements when teachers are absent.


Assessment and Evaluation

  • Guide the practice for assessing and recording students’ achievement and for using this information to set targets for further improvement.
  • Ensure information about students’ achievements in previous classes and schools is used effectively to secure good academic progress.
  • Evaluate teaching within the subject and be able to use this analysis to identify to improve further the quality of teaching and learning.
  • Be responsible for the setting and organisation of marking for test and examination papers: analysing results and summarising for the SLT team.


Managing Resources

  • Establish teacher and resource needs and advise the headteacher of likely the wide range of sources inside and outside the school.
  • Liaise with the Accountant/Administration Officer ordering appropriate resources, ensuring value for money and ensuring that resources are stored properly, are accessible and used efficiently.


Leading and Monitoring Performance

  • Managing team meetings: setting the agenda, circulating minutes and following up agreed action.
  • Communicating decisions of the Senior Leadership Team to team members and convey ideas and suggestion of the team to the headteacher and SLT.
  • Managing reviews of schemes of work and team planning.
  • Preparing reports as required by the headteacher and SLT.
  • Observing the work of team members as part of performance review.
  • Coaching, mentoring and providing in service training.
  • Supporting colleagues to ensure the Teaching and Learning Policy is implemented;
  • Share good practice.

You should expect to complete other reasonable duties the school asks you to do.

These duties are an example, although similar for many schools.


What makes a good effective school head of department?

1. Lead by example of outstanding teaching, knowledge and leadership

2. Treat department teachers as part of the team

3. Set realistic department boundaries for teacher’s to achieve

4. Regular classroom and informal visits to teachers

5.Give all team members equal opportunities for professional development

6. Introduce new effective teaching and learning strategies, idea and ways of working

7. Develop external relationships with other local schools to share good practice

8. Create a department team that share good practice and resources


What department head’s are in a typical secondary school?

Head of English          head of mathematics      head of science

Head of physical education          head of music        head of languages

Head of religious education       head of humanities         Head of business & IT


How to be appointed as a school subject lead teacher

  • Become a specialist subject teacher
  • 5 + years of teaching experience in the subject
  • Possible experience as a 2nd in department in present role
  • Have vast up to date knowledge of the subject area
  • Very good teaching record and good student grades
  • Apply for a job promotion in the same school or another secondary school.
  • Attend a formal interview, usually conducted at school over a whole day

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