Head teachers in secondary schools are steering through an intricate landscape of advanced planning, critical evaluation, and strategic decision-making. This period is pivotal, marking a transition from concluding the current academic term to setting the stage for the next academic year.

Curriculum and Exams

Foremost on the agenda is the preparation for GCSEs and A level exams. Ensuring that both students and educators are aligned, providing supplementary support, and finalising entries for these pivotal exams are essential tasks. The balance between foundational subjects and specialised electives is increasingly significant, as it influences students’ pathways in higher education.

Subject Outsourcing

Innovatively addressing curriculum gaps through subject outsourcing is becoming a strategic move for expanding educational offerings. Whether it involves online courses in niche disciplines or partnerships with external educators for languages or arts, head teachers are leveraging this approach to enhance the breadth of their school’s offering.

Wellbeing and Environment

Upholding the mental and physical wellbeing of the school community is critical, especially under the looming pressures of end-of-year exams. Initiatives aimed at fostering a positive educational environment, from mindfulness exercises to the reinforcement of a safe and inclusive culture are key priorities.

Staffing and Professional Development 

Anticipating the needs of the next academic year, head teachers are focusing on staffing strategies and professional growth opportunities. Cultivating a team capable of delivering exemplary higher education, adapting to curricular shifts, and embracing innovative teaching methodologies is central to their vision.

Community and Engagement

Communication with parents, guardians, and the broader school community is crucial, especially when navigating changes in the educational landscape or introducing novel initiatives like subject outsourcing. Open dialogue, transparency, and collective engagement are fundamental in sustaining support and trust.

Future Planning

The strategic planning for the forthcoming academic year is in full swing, with attention to budget management, infrastructure enhancements, and resource allocation to ensure the school environment is conducive to learning and growth.


As the month progresses, head teachers are at the helm of this multifaceted mission, guiding their institutions through the evolving challenges and opportunities of higher education. Their role transcends administrative duties, embodying a visionary approach that shapes the future landscape of education for their students, gearing them towards success in higher education and beyond. ​

Are you a school wondering how NEC can help you? Take a look at our schools page and get in touch with the NEC team.

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