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Eurydice

EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Management staff for early childhood and school education

Iceland

10.Management and other education staff

10.1Management staff for early childhood and school education

Last update: 10 June 2022

Management Staff for Early Childhood and School Education

Pre-primary head teachers encourage cooperation between parents, pre-primary school personnel and other professionals, with the children’s welfare as main objective. The head teacher calls meetings of teachers and personnel as needed. He reports to the pre-primary school operators and the local authorities on pre-primary school activities in an annual report. The head teacher is to take the initiative on formulating a plan of how to organise CPD continuing professional development, to best comply with the aims and emphasis of the pre-primary school, the municipality and the pre-primary school curriculum guide.

Upon recruitment of assistant head teacher, teachers and other pre-primary school personnel, provisions of the Local Government Act and the Act on Education and Recruitment of Teachers and Head Teachers in Pre-School, Compulsory School and Upper Secondary School apply.

Preschool head teacher (head of the pre-school or principal) as well as assistant preschool head teacher shall have completed preschool teacher education and hold a certification as such from the Ministry of Education. In addition, applicants should hold education in management, or have experience in teaching at this school level.

Compulsory School Level

Head teachers encourage cooperation between all relevant players in the school community. The head teacher calls teacher meetings as often as required during the school’s operational time. Teachers and other school specialists are required to attend teacher meetings. The head teacher calls staff meetings as often as required.
The head teacher makes proposals to the local government regarding administrative arrangements in the compulsory school, considering the needs of the school in question. The head teacher determines the roles of other administrative staff, one of whom is to serve as a substitute for the head teacher. 

If a compulsory school has less than 60 pupils and does not have other administrative staff, the head teacher decides at the beginning of each school year which one of the school’s permanent teachers is to assume the role of head teacher in case of his or her absence.

The head teacher shall administer daily supervision of school buildings according to further decisions by the local authorities. The local authorities may, in collaboration with the head teacher, allocate the school buildings in part or in full to other activities, if those activities do not interfere with the legal use of the facilities.

Upper Secondary Level

The Minister of Education, Science and Culture appoints head teachers for terms of five years. The school board comments on the applicants for the position of head teacher. Teachers who are appointed head teachers are to be granted leave from teaching while holding the post of head teacher.
The head teacher is the director of the school. The head teacher manages daily administration and school activities and ensures that school operations comply with all acts, regulations, the National Curriculum Guide and other provisions currently in force. The head teacher is responsible for devising a financial plan and ensuring that the school budget is followed, and shall take initiative in formulating the school curriculum guide and organise developmental work within the school.

The school council provides consultation and assistance to the head teacher. The head teacher serves as chair to the school council, which, in addition to the head teacher, is to be comprised of the head teacher’s assistant and representatives of teachers and pupils. Further provisions on the composition of the school council, its role and operations may be prescribed in a regulation.
The head teacher hires administrative staff, teachers and other school personnel in consultation with the school board.
The head teacher is to hire an assistant head teacher for up to a five-year period. A teacher, who is appointed assistant head teacher, is granted leave from teaching as needed while holding the post of assistant head teacher.

Requirements for appointment as a school Head

Pre-primary level

Pre-primary school head teacher, assistant pre-primary school head teacher and pre-primary school teacher must have completed pre-primary school teacher education according to the Act on Education and Recruitment of Teachers and Head Teachers in Pre-School, Compulsory School and Upper Secondary School. Non-skilled personnel may participate in the care and education of children, provided that skilled pre-primary school teachers are not available. Individuals who have been convicted for violating provisions of Chapter XXII of the General Penal Code may not be hired for this purpose. Upon recruitment, the person’s criminal record shall be available, or the head teacher be authorized to obtain information from the Penal Registry.
The qualifications required to become a head teacher of a pre-primary school are those of teachers at the relevant level. Further qualifications in the field of school administration are increasingly preferred, but not obligatory. Head teachers’ responsibilities comprise administrative, financial and educational tasks. It is a matter of negotiation between the head teacher of a pre-primary school and the local municipality concerned whether the he or she also teaches. The head teacher of a pre-primary school is employed and appointed by the municipality based on an open recruitment procedure (applications/interviews). The selection process varies according to the rules laid down by each municipality, which determines this procedure. All staff have the status of public employees. The same qualifications are required of the substitute/assistant to the head teacher and the recruitment procedure is the same.

Compulsory School Level

Upon recruitment of head teacher and compulsory school personnel, provisions of the Local Government Act and further provisions of the local government board apply. The requirements for recruitment of head teacher or compulsory school teachers are stipulated in relevant legislation, i.e. the Act on Education and Recruitment of Teachers and Head Teachers in Pre-School, Compulsory School and Upper Secondary School.
The qualifications required to become a head teacher in a compulsory school are those of teachers at the relevant levels, with teaching experience at the relevant levels. Further qualifications in the field of school administration are increasingly preferred, but not obligatory. Their tasks comprise administrative, financial and educational responsibilities. They are selected based on an open recruitment procedure (applications/interviews) which varies according to the rules laid down by each municipality, which determines the term of the appointment. The teaching duties of the head teacher, if any, are determined by the official wage agreement and are related to the number of pupils in the school. The head teacher is employed by the municipality and has status of a public employee.
Individuals who have been convicted for violating provisions of Chapter XXII of the General Penal Code may not be hired for this purpose. Upon recruitment, the person’s criminal record shall be available or the head teacher be authorised to obtain information from the Penal Registry.

Upper Secondary Level

The qualifications required to become a head teacher in an upper secondary school are the same as those of teachers at that level, and teaching experience at that level is also required. Experience in teaching, administration and further qualifications in school administration are also considered. They have no teaching duties. The qualifications required of an assistant head teacher in upper secondary education school are the same as those of teachers at the relevant level. They are selected based on an open recruitment procedure (applications after advertisement of a vacant post). They are appointed to their post for a 5-year period by head teacher after consulting the school board. The assistant head may represent the head teacher in his or her absence and has a status of civil servant. The teaching duties of the substitute depend on the number of pupils in the school.