'Chair's action': your power to act in cases of urgency

As a chair, be clear when you might use the 'chair's action' to make urgent decisions on your board's behalf, and see examples of how other schools do it.

Last reviewed on 9 December 2022
School types: AllSchool phases: AllRef: 4299
  1. What is it and when might I need it?
  2. How do I activate it?
  3. What can I use it for?
  4. What can't I use it for?
  5. Examples from schools

What is it and when might I need it?

The chair's action is your ability to make decisions and act on the governing board's behalf where it's not possible for the board to meet (either in-person or virtually).

You should use it only for urgent duties that can't wait.

How do I know when something is urgent?

It's when you believe that not acting now will be seriously detrimental to:

  • Your school, or
  • Any pupil or their parent, or
  • A staff member

What if the chair is absent?

  • Maintained schools: if the chair is absent, the vice-chair will have this power
  • Academies: check your articles of association to see if they include whether the vice-chair has this power in the chair's absence

How do I activate it?

Maintained school governing board You have this power already, but if possible, you should act in consultation with the headteacher. You must report the action