Paper 3: Deputy Headteacher in Charge of Studies: Questions and Answers

  1. When you walked into a classroom during an outstanding lesson, what would you see and hear?
  • I’d like to hear about: animated discussions, students clearly making progress as evidenced in oral and written contributions.
  • High quality visual displays of students’ work showing progress.
  • High levels of engagement. Behavior that supports learning.
  1. How will you introduce change without upsetting the staff?
  • Don’t rush in.
  • Listen to staff to see what they want.
  • Entice staff that are keen for change to come on board.
  • Model the change if possible.
  • Put time limits on requirements, i.e. programs.
  • Survey kids about what they like in the classes.
  • Establish routines for faculty meetings etc.
  1. What personality and motivation you have?

In answering focus on your reasons for applying or for choosing your position and how well you can manage Students behavior and difficult pupils.

For Deputy Head Teacher positions, you should expect questions exploring your leadership skills, your ability to motivate and develop your staff, your capacity to build relationships and your financial and operational management skills. Expect 3-4 questions on each area along with questions relating to your understanding of issues facing the Education Sector and targets as they impact on your school, college or academy.

  1. Tell me your core competencies?

This relates to key skills required such as your ability to have good time management, to work in or manage a team, to demonstrate effective communication, classroom management skills, lesson planning etc.

  1. What are your teaching skills and experience?

The interviewer will ask questions based on your experience as shown on your CV.

  1. What are the qualities of a successful Deputy Headteacher in Charge of Studies?

Responses to this question may include:

  • Be visible… the principal’s presence should be evident on a continual basis.
  • He or she must be easily accessible to both students and teachers.
  • Has a great sense of humor, and can relate well to a diverse group of individuals.
  • Genuinely cares about the students, teachers, parents, and the district.
  1. What is your biggest weakness?

Your response could include something that may have been a challenge in the past, which you have taken steps to rectify. It is important to be truthful, they will be testing your honesty. In addition, they will be checking to see if you provide a weakness that is critical to success in the position. For example, the interview will likely end quickly if you answer you have a difficult time management the classroom. The key to answering the question is to turn a negative into a positive.

  1. Tell me about your educational qualifications and professional experience?

Deputy Head teachers require an academic degree and professional experience. Make sure to provide detailed facts with references, as these will probably be checked.

  1. What would we be missing out on if we decided not to appoint you?

This is great as it enables candidates to sell themselves and really tell us what they are about.

EX: When I’m working on a project, I don’t just want to meet deadlines. Rather, I prefer to complete the project well ahead of its due date. While this means I never miss a deadline, it also means that sometimes I can find myself rushed when I’m working. I’ve since learned to slow down, be more patient, and give each project the careful attention it deserves.

  1. Do you know what are the key qualities and skills that students look for in teachers?
  • Liking young people.
  • Consistency.
  • Sense of humour. Passion for their subject.
  • Good at explaining new concepts/ideas.
  • Able to make the topic or subject relevant.
  • Able to make everyone feel comfortable and confident about contributing.
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