Chairs: how to work well with your headteacher

It's crucial that you and your headteacher work together effectively. Learn how to build and maintain a good relationship.

Last reviewed on 21 March 2024
School types: AllSchool phases: AllRef: 3853
  1. The benefits of a strong working relationship
  2. Understand each other's roles
  3. Get to know each other
  4. Have regular catch-ups
  5. Don't exclude other governors
  6. Balance challenge and support

This article is based on the role of the chair of governors guidance published by the National College of Teaching and Leadership (NCTL). Although the NCTL has now been replaced, the advice is still relevant. We also got advice from governance experts Kate Foale, Alice Maynard and Leon Ward.

The benefits of a strong working relationship

A good relationship that's clear to all colleagues will:

  • Allow you to work well together, prioritising the best interests of your school
  • Encourage a culture of openness, support and challenge throughout your school 
  • Allow you to challenge and support each other 
  • Help everyone to recognise the role of the governing board in your school's leadership

Understand each other's roles

The maintained schools governance guide (section 3.1) states that, as chair, you can act as a sounding board and provide effective support

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