'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

The Key has taken great care in publishing this article. However, some of the article's content and information may come from or link to third party sources whose quality, relevance, accuracy, completeness, currency and reliability we do not guarantee. Accordingly, we will not be held liable for any use of or reliance placed on this article's content or the links or downloads it provides. This article may contain information sourced from public sector bodies and licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.