Last reviewed on 21 June 2019
School types: All · School phases: All
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It's crucial that you and your head work together effectively. Read our experts' advice on how to build and maintain a good relationship.

This article is based on the role of the chair of governors guidance published by the National College of Teaching & Leadership (NCTL) (now closed - although the advice is still relevant). We also got advice from our governance experts: Alice Maynard, Kate Foale and Leon Ward.

What the relationship should be 

You should have a strong working relationship with your headteacher, which is clear to those in your school. This will:

  • Create a culture which recognises that those who lead the school include school leaders and governors
  • Encourage a culture of openness, support and challenge throughout the school 
  • Allow you to act as a critical friend, offering challenge, support, advice and encouragement to the headteacher as required

The first step is to understand each other's roles. Be clear about the difference between your role as chair and leader of the board, and the role of the headteacher as the leader