The General Teaching Council for Scotland

Enhancing professionalism in education since 1965

Headship Qualifications

The Standards for Leadership and Management include both the Standard for Middle Leadership and the Standard for Headship (SFH). The Standards for Leadership and Management lay down the foundations for professionalism and leadership required by all head teachers. It is a framework for aspiring head teachers and identifies key qualities that are required to succeed as an experienced head teacher.

Holding the Standard for Headship will become a prerequisite for all new head teachers in Scotland from 2019.

Into Headship

The Scottish College for Educational Leadership (SCEL) has led the development of the Into Headship qualification which is now Scotland’s national qualification for headship.  It has been designed in consultation with universities, local authorities, Education Scotland, GTCS and SCEL and focusses on the specificity of headship and the strategic role of head teachers.

There are currently seven university partners accredited by the General Teaching Council for Scotland that deliver the qualification in partnership with local authorities and SCEL. The programme is designed as a 60 credit postgraduate certificate qualification at SCQF level 11 which forms part of a Masters leadership pathway. On successful completion participants are also awarded the Standard for Headship.

Former Routes to Headship

Two routes, the Flexible Route to Headship (FrH) and the Scottish Qualification for Headship (SQH) are no longer available as programmes of study, however, teachers who have successfully completed SQH or FRH continue to hold the Standard for Headship.



For information about Headship, contact, Professional Learning and Development Department:

T: +44 (0)131 314 6000