Head/deputy head of subject: performance objectives

Find suggested performance objectives for heads of department, along with success criteria and monitoring arrangements. They cover areas such as pupil progress, interventions, differentiation and the curriculum.

Last reviewed on 14 February 2022
School types: AllSchool phases: AllRef: 7431
  1. Make sure objectives are SMART
  2. Pupil progress
  3. Targeted intervention
  4. Teaching and learning
  5. Differentiation strategies
  6. Curriculum and the coronavirus pandemic
  7. Further examples


Make sure objectives are SMART

Performance objectives should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound (SMART).

For each objective and the relevant success criteria, specify the appropriate timescale for your head or deputy head of subject's context. Consider how the criteria will fit into your school year.

You can use the objectives below for either a head or a deputy head of subject, a director of learning, or anyone with responsibility for a curriculum area. 

Pupil progress


The head/deputy head of subject will implement strategies to improve the performance of pupils so that a specified percentage (X%) make significant progress in the subject area between the start of year 7 and the end of year 11.

Significant progress will depend on how the school monitors and assesses pupils' progress.

By the end of Key Stage (KS) 4, X% of current year 11 pupils have made significant progress in the subject Most pupils have met or exceeded