The Competent Head: A Job Analysis of Heads' Tasks and Personality Factors

The Competent Head: A Job Analysis of Heads' Tasks and Personality Factors

The Competent Head: A Job Analysis of Heads' Tasks and Personality Factors

The Competent Head: A Job Analysis of Heads' Tasks and Personality Factors


This text provides an evaluation of headteachers' tasks, including categories and specific tasks. It also contains a list of heads' preferred personality characteristics, indicating their favourite ways of working, leadership styles and team roles.


It is widely accepted that educational institutions in order to be effective require effective leaders. Objective and rigorous assessment criteria by which such leaders may be assessed have however hitherto proved elusive and difficult to obtain.

This book sets out to provide a basis by which the assessment of education leaders can take place, by describing the process in generating and validating more objective and accurate assessment criteria. This is particularly pertinent at the present time in fully meeting equal opportunity concerns.

The approach adopted is applicable across the education sectors. The discussion here is however focused upon the position of headteachers of maintained schools.

The authors put forward the case that in order to make objective assessment decisions it is necessary first, that an accurate current description of the head's job is available, and that, in order to provide assessable and replicable data, this should be achieved through a process of job analysis. Second, the data derived from a systematically conducted job analysis should then be used to generate and validate management competencies accurately reflecting the head's responsibilities. Management competencies then in turn provide the criteria for assessment decision making. The competencies which we propose are used for headship positions are those competencies normally described as 'personal' and 'transferable'.

The techniques of job analysis and the generation and use of management competencies have long been widely used in non-educational employment sectors. The authors advocate their use in education, not assuming that schools and colleges are businesses or should be treated as if they were businesses, but with respect to jobs and the selection of staff, schools have much in common with organizations in non-educational employment sectors.

The book is principally directed towards scholars, practice orientated researchers and practitioners in education, particularly those practitioners undertaking award bearing programmes of study. The busy practitioner, while interested in the practical outcomes to the report of the data collection and analysis, may well wish to omit the theory related chapters from their use of the book.


Unprecedented change since the late 1980s to the present day has been imposed upon the maintained school sector in the UK largely by government. It is intended

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