JOB PROFILE

What Is a Head of Service? (SEND)

IN THIS JOB PROFILE

You Will Learn.

  • What is a Head of Service?
  • What are the responsibilities of a Head of Service? 
  • What qualifications does a Head of Service need?
  • What is the average salary of a Head of Service?
  • Who employs a Head of Service?
  • What skills does a Head of Service need?
  • Where the latest Head of Service jobs are and how to apply for them.
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What Is a Head of Service?

A Head of Service plays a crucial role in overseeing and managing the provision of specialised support and resources for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). 

They're responsible for leading a dedicated department or service focused on meeting the unique needs of individuals with SEND. They collaborate with educational professionals, healthcare providers, and other stakeholders to ensure that children and young people with disabilities receive appropriate and inclusive education.

What Are the Responsibilities of a Head of Service?

A Head of Service plays a crucial role in ensuring students with diverse needs get the right support. They plan how to align support with educational goals and regulations. They manage resources, deciding who goes where, what materials are needed, and how to make the most impact with the available budget.

The Head of Service dives deep into the legal side, ensuring that schools are meeting all the requirements for students with SEND. They regularly check what's working and what's not, making adjustments to strategies to ensure students are getting the best possible support.


While working as a Head of Service, you will be required to:

  • Align support strategies with educational goals and regulations.
  • Allocate personnel, materials, and budget effectively for maximum impact.
  • Bridge communication between educators, healthcare professionals, and parents.
  • Dive into legal aspects, ensuring that schools meet all the requirements for students with SEND.
  • Regularly assess the effectiveness of interventions and adjust strategies accordingly.
  • Facilitate ongoing learning for staff to stay updated on best practices.
  • Lead a team dedicated to creating an inclusive and supportive environment.
  • Implement a cycle of regular check-ins and adjustments to ensure optimal support.

Frequently Asked Questions

A Head of Service typically requires a relevant postgraduate qualification, such as a Master's in Special Education or a related field. 

Additionally, experience in a leadership role within the education sector is crucial. Recognised teaching qualifications and a deep understanding of SEND legislation and policies are essential while working in a Head of Service position.

The average salary of a Head of Service in the UK can range from £60,000 to £80,000 per year.

However, it is important to note that this number can vary depending on certain factors such as the location of the role and the size of the local authority.

The majority of Head of Service jobs are found in schools, local authorities and government departments. 

Additionally, they may find employment in non-profit organisations dedicated to supporting individuals with disabilities.

What Skills Does a Head of Service Need?

A Head of Service requires leadership skills to guide teams in creating inclusive educational strategies. Effective communication is also crucial for connecting educators, healthcare professionals, parents, and the community. 

A solid understanding of SEND laws is necessary to ensure compliance. Strategic thinking furthermore helps to align support with educational goals, and efficient resource management involves handling personnel and budget effectively. 

Adaptability and problem-solving skills are essential due to the ever-changing educational landscape. 


Key skills of a Head of Service include:

  • Leadership skills to guide teams in developing inclusive educational strategies.
  • Communication skills to bridge communication among educators, healthcare professionals, parents, and the community.
  • A solid grasp of SEND laws to ensure compliance and advocate for necessary adjustments.
  • The ability to think strategically to align support initiatives with educational objectives.
  • Resource management to efficiently handle personnel and budget to maximise impact.
  • Adaptability skills to navigate the ever-changing educational landscape.
  • Problem solving skills to address challenges and find practical solutions.

Searching for Your Next Head of Service Job?

If you're searching for your next career opportunity, why not take a look at all the latest Head of Service jobs available now?

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We work with hundreds of schools and Local Authorities throughout the UK so why not get in contact with one of our specialists who can advise on current and upcoming opportunities?

We offer a range of permanent, temporary and interim contracts - including fully remote or hybrid working patterns.

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