How to carry out capability procedures for your headteacher

Understand your role in headteacher capability procedures. Be clear on what happens during the process, including during formal meetings, dismissals and appeals.

Last reviewed on 21 March 2022
School types: All · School phases: All
Ref: 40533
  1. The role of the governing board 
  2. Check your capability policy 
  3. Stages of the process

The role of the governing board 

  • Maintained schoolsThe School Staffing (England) Regulations 2009 state that the governing board must establish procedures for dealing with lack of staff capability at the school (see regulation 8)
  • Academies: you're free to decide who has responsibility for capability procedures, and can delegate this responsibility if you wish (see paragraphs 143 to 145 of the Governance Handbook

Capability procedures aren't different for the headteacher and other staff

The process is typically the same whether it's for a headteacher or not. 

The difference comes down to who's leading the process and meetings:

  • For staff capability, the headteacher will lead the procedure 
  • For headteacher capability, the chair of governors will lead the process

If you're in an academy, check your scheme of delegation to see who has responsibility for staff and headteacher capability procedures. 

Your school must have a capability policy that covers all staff. It's on the