How to build the perfect headteacher CV

10th January 2017 at 18:15
A CV and pen
Perhaps you have always wanted to be a headteacher. Or maybe it’s a decision you have only recently made. No matter your starting point, the good news is that you can still build a CV that makes you irresistible to governors and shortlisting panels.

If you want your headteacher CV to standout you will need to be able to make a number of key statements. Below I detail what those statements are and how you can ensure you have the experience to back them up.

"I have extensive experience leading teaching and learning"

It is absolutely essential for headship CV that you are able to make this statement. However, the role you are in may not give you the opportunity to make an impact on whole-school teaching and learning.

The good news is that you can gain fantastic experience that makes this statement possible – all it needs is a little imagination.

Make contact with university education departments and find out about what they are researching. Look on the National Foundation in Education Research website (www.nfer.ac.uk). There may be opportunities in both areas to get involved in research projects.

Keep your knowledge of teaching and learning current by attending teaching and learning events such as WomenEd, ResearchEd, Pedagoo or TeachMeet. You can then share any findings with colleagues by setting up a weekly drop in session.

"I have placed the school at the heart of the community"

Governors will always be interested in what you have done to strengthen your community. It could be working with employers, facilitating parent learning schemes or delivering information sessions about the school across the community.

Showing your commitment to a shared vision and moral purpose is vital. In my own school a number of years ago, there were daily complaints about litter in the area. Residents said this was caused by students which was damaging the reputation of the school.

The solution was the “Big Tidy Up”. The litter-picking project shows impact and builds excellent community relations, as well as giving students and staff a sense of collective responsibility and achievement.

"I am outward-facing and keen to seek and adopt new ideas"

Schools work effectively when people work together. Governors want their headteachers to be outward-looking and collaborative, so partner-up with others throughout your career.

Social media has made it easy to reach out and create networks wherever you are. If there isn’t a learning hub or professional learning community in your area, start one; if there is, join one.

Use moderation and standardisation of work to network across schools. The time and effort you put in will reap benefits for learners in your school and experience points for your CV.

"I am an experienced coach"

Learn this skill as early as you can in your career. There are coaching qualifications that you can do but these are often expensive, so make it your mission to seek out other ways of learning about coaching.

Hone your skills by coaching others. In addition, find yourself a coach. Find out who coaches in your school and ask them for help. Coaching others shows a commitment to training and development.

Being coached demonstrates one of the most desirable leadership attributes, that of reflective practitioner. It tells the governors of a school that you are emotionally intelligent, goal orientated and keen to learn. 

"I am the county fell-running champion"

Don’t forget to show the panel that their prospective headteacher has a life outside of school. Are you a prolific fundraiser, volunteer, artist? Do you play in a rock band, did you build your own home or trek across Nepal?

Talk about the reasons for your activities and what impact they make on your life, as well as any skills you have learnt along the way. It gives any shortlisting panel the essence of who you are. If you can turn your words into a lust for life that jumps off the page, your CV is definitely ready to take you to interview.  

Ruth Golding is head of school (Tenzing), Tor Bridge High, Plymouth

Find her on Twitter @LearnerLedLdr

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