Job Description for Head of Subject

by Ben Alford

For this position as head of a subject, you will need to show the requirements of a class teacher as you may have to cover lessons or be a class teacher as well as a head of department leader, and be able to complete any other agreed responsibilities whilst having work to mark etc.

You will also need to be accountable for a discrete curricular area or an aspect of the school’s work. You will also be required to help support, hold accountable, develop and lead a team of people focusing on that area as well as possibly help students and organise classes to help students.

As a head of subject you will have a set amount of key tasks and responsibilities that you must obey. For this position there are 3 criteria. These are:

  • Strategic direction and development
  • Teaching and learning
  • Leading and managing staff


Strategic direction and development

For this part of the area or aspect of the work you will be doing (with the support of, and under the direction of, the headteacher and leadership team) things like:

  • Develop and implement policies and practices which reflect the school’s commitment to high achievement through effective teaching and learning.
  •  Develop plans for the area / aspect of work which identify clear targets, time­scales and success criteria for its development and/or maintenance in         line with the school development plan.
  •  Monitor progress and evaluate the effects on teaching and learning by working alongside colleagues, analysing work and outcomes.


Teaching and learning

For this area and aspect of work you will be required to sit in on a lesson and review it or do things such as;

  • Ensure continuity and progression in the area / aspect of teaching by supporting colleagues in choosing the appropriate sequence of teaching and teaching methods and setting clear learning objectives through an agreed scheme of work, developed in line with the school development plan.
  • Evaluate the teaching in the area / aspect of work by the monitoring of teachers’ plans and through work analysis, identify effective practice and areas for improvement, and take appropriate action to improve further the quality of teaching.



Leading and managing staff

For this area and aspect of the work you will be asked to do, you will need to be able to complete a range of criteria such as;

  • Enable all teachers to achieve expertise in planning for and teaching in the  area through example, support and by leading or providing high quality professional development opportunities;
  •  Demonstrate an excellent ability to advise and support other teachers;
  • Provide clear feedback, good support and sound advice to others;
  • Provide examples, coaching and training to help others become more effective in their teaching;
  • Help others to evaluate the impact of their teaching on raising pupils’ achievement;
  • Contribute to the Performance Review of all teachers in the area of work;
  • Ensure that the head teacher, SMT and governors are well informed about policies, plans, priorities and targets for the area and that these are properly incorporated into the school development plan.

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