Into Headship head teacher programme data pack and rules: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

Information requested

The most recent headteacher data pack, or the data pack sent to councils to support them ahead of the 2021-22 Into Headship programme, the rules around whether or not new headteachers have to hold the Into Headship qualification, and information relating to headteachers who fail to complete Into Headship.


I enclose a copy of some of the information you requested. The 2018 report of the Headteacher Recruitment Working Group recommended that Scottish Government and Education Scotland should provide annual data packs for local authorities to support local and regional succession planning for headteacher posts. The most recently produced data pack from 2019 is attached as a PDF. This work was interrupted by the response to the pandemic and is currently being refreshed through the Headteacher Recruitment and Retention Working Group.

Regarding the rules around whether or not new headteachers have to hold the Into Headship qualification when they are appointed. The Head Teachers Education and Training Standards (Scotland) Regulations 2019 were laid in the Scottish Parliament in June 2019 with a commencement date of August 2020. The Regulations require that all teachers appointed to their first permanent headteacher post in a local authority or grant-aided school from August 2020 must have been awarded the Standard for Headship by the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS).

The Standard for Headship is awarded by the GTCS on completion of the Into Headship programme, which is delivered by Education Scotland in partnership with both university providers and local authorities. The GTCS can award the Standard for Headship to teachers who have not completed the Into Headship qualification but can demonstrate, through the submission of appropriate evidence or an interview process, that they meet the requirements of the Standard. This is designed primarily for suitably qualified teachers from outwith Scotland who wish to apply for headship posts.

The Standard for Headship regulations provide for the appointment of teachers to headship posts for a period not exceeding 30 months to allow that teacher to undertake the professional learning required to achieve the Standard for Headship and obtain a permanent headship position.

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the Scottish Government does not have some of the information you have requested. As the employers of headteachers, it is up to local authorities to determine their processes for managing a headteacher should they fail to achieve the Standard for Headship within the timeframe outlined in the regulations. It would also be for local authorities to work in partnership with Education Scotland and the relevant university partner to manage any arrangements for participants who are struggling to complete the programme. As such, the Scottish Government does not hold any information relating to this.

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Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
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