"Head teacher" is a job title typically used by private and boarding schools to designate a position similar to a school principal. The head teacher is responsible for the school's administration on a number of levels, from ensuring a designated curriculum is taught throughout the institution to setting and enforcing regulations for conduct. The head teacher may have a support staff which includes assistants or deputy heads who assist with day-to-day duties and operations within the school and help the head teacher to interact positively with teachers, students, and parents.
The main duty of a head teacher is to ensure that the school's standards are met and enforced across all disciplines, which includes maintaining the school's academic standing by participating in the processes by which both new students and new teachers assimilate to the institution and its ways. These responsibilities also include developing changes and adjustments to academic requirements to meet the needs of students and parents while keeping the school scholastically viable for those interested in continuing their education past the elementary and high school levels.
In many schools which employ a head teacher, multiple grade levels are taught, sometimes encompassing both lower schools (elementary level) and upper schools (high school level). The head teacher often coordinates with deputy heads of these schools to ensure that students are prepared in the lower school for participation in the challenges of upper school classwork. The head teacher also works with teachers and parents to ensure that the school maintains discipline, codes of conduct, and an academically challenging curriculum.
Most head teachers need at least graduate-level degrees in education administration. Many older and more prestigious private schools prefer candidates who have practical experience in school administration and teaching and doctorate-level education in administration and child sociology disciplines. Head teachers typically work long and challenging hours in an academic environment.