New headteacher: questions to ask your SLT

Ask your senior leadership team (SLT) these questions in the early days of headship so you can learn more about how your leadership team works, the strengths and weaknesses of your staff, and the school's context.

Last reviewed on 5 January 2023
School types: All · School phases: All
Ref: 9751
  1. SLT ways of working 
  2. Staff strengths and weaknesses
  3. Staff wellbeing and workload
  4. Your school's priorities 
  5. Pupil performance and behaviour
  6. Other schools and the community
  7. Your governing board

SLT ways of working 

It's really important that, from early on, you build strong and effective relationships with the individuals on your leadership team. Ask:

  • What are your main priorities in your role?
  • What's going well in your area of responsibility?
  • What issues are you facing in your role?
  • How do you think the issues you're facing in your role could be addressed?
  • Is your role, as it's currently defined, the best fit for the work that needs to be done in that area?
  • How do you work with other members of the SLT? 

It's also worth getting to know colleagues on a more personal level so you can develop a positive rapport. For example, ask questions relating to their lives beyond school.

Read our tips on how to develop an effective leadership team and learn from what other schools have done in our case studies. 

Ask your SLT about the strengths and weaknesses of