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Skills of a deputy

Your job and career questions answered

What things do you need to do to become deputy head in a primary school? How many years of experience do you need? Does it help if you have been a co-ordinator for a particular subject?

Primary schools range from very small schools that do not employ a deputy to large schools where the deputy, like the head, has a reduced teaching load. So it is difficult to generalise about how long it takes to qualify for deputy headship.

Nevertheless, around four out of ten appointments go to teachers who are aged below 35, with a further 25 per cent appointed from those aged between 35 and 40. Most first-time deputies were previously teachers. It is difficult to generalise on specific expertise except that responsibility for a key stage of a core subject may be useful, but a school may be looking for something else. Try sending off for details of such a post before you start applying in order to get a feel of what schools are looking for.

If you have a question for John Howson, please email susan.young@tes.co.uk

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