The Primary Head Teacher's Handbook: The Essential Guide for Primary Heads

The Primary Head Teacher's Handbook: The Essential Guide for Primary Heads

The Primary Head Teacher's Handbook: The Essential Guide for Primary Heads

The Primary Head Teacher's Handbook: The Essential Guide for Primary Heads


This handbook is designed for practicing and aspirant British primary head teachers to enable them to rise to the many challenges that face them in the task of effectively managing a busy primary school. As well as acting as a guide to best practice for those tasked with the role of headship, it will also assist governors, deputies, senior teachers, those studying for NPQH or with a headship in their targets, to understand how an effective head can create and sustain an effective school.Written by a respected and widely experienced primary principal and author, the contents include: A whole school plan; Staff development; Recruiting and managing staff; Developing teaching and learning policies; The school as an organization; Stress, time and conflict management; Leadership; Developing effective teaching; Developing curriculum coordinators; Managing a successful inspection.


The key features of an effective school are to raise standards and encourage learning throughout life. This will mean that everyone needs to develop their learning and thinking skills if they are to be effective learners in the future. It is important that children experience success in learning as well as being able to recognise the relevance of learning. In an improving school there will be an ethos where staff are valued and where the development and training needs are met. This has nothing to do with headteachers being altruistic but all to do with the need to recruit and retain the best staff possible. In Chapter 1 it was suggested that the most valuable resources in any school are the adults who work there, and it is important to make sure that their skills are developed. All staff should be entitled to training, not only to do their present job but also as preparation for their future development. If this is the case, then it also follows that the ethos of the school must suggest that there is a belief in people and in their ability to learn, develop and grow.


The two main ways of identifying training needs are: 1) performance management, where targets are set and the kind of training necessary to meet the targets is identified; 2) the School Development Plan, where it is useful to identify the training implications of specific tasks that have to be completed.

Both performance management and development planning are formal processes which involve all staff, and their relationship with training and development will be discussed in detail later in the chapter. There are also other sources of information that the headteacher can use to identify and analyse training needs. They include:

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