Headteacher and senior executive leader: roles on the governing board

Whether your board is in a maintained school or academy, or works with a headteacher, principal or CEO, make sure you understand their role and rights on your board, so your meetings run smoothly.

Last reviewed on 13 November 2023
Ref: 41609
  1. The senior executive leader has the right to be a governor
  2. Your senior executive leader's role on the governing board
  3. It's the chair's role to lead board meetings
  4. If you have an acting senior executive leader, you’ll need to appoint them

In this article, who your senior executive leader is will depend on your board and trust type:

  • If you're in a single academy trust, it will likely be the executive principal or headteacher
  • In a trust board in a multi-academy trust (MAT), it will likely be the chief executive officer (CEO)

In the Academy Trust Handbook (ATH), they're referred to as the 'senior executive leader'. We'll refer to them as that from now on.

If you're a governor on a local governing body (LGB) in a MAT, you'll also have a headteacher for your individual school. 

The senior executive leader has the right to be a governor

This is outlined in article 57 of the Department for Education's (DfE's) model articles of association. Check your own articles of association, just in case they vary from the

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