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 headteacher has the right to be a governor
  2. Headteacher's role on the governing board
  3. It's the chair's role to lead board meetings
  4. Appointed acting headteachers have the same rights
  5. Other staff can't 'fill in' for the headteacher

The headteacher has the right to be a governor

The headteacher is automatically a governor by virtue of their office (also known as an ex officio governor). However, they can resign as a governor if they choose. 

Headteachers also have the right to attend both whole governing board meetings and committee meetings, regardless of whether they're a governor or a member of a committee. 

Only governors have the right to vote at full governing board meetings, so if the headteacher isn’t a governor, they can’t vote.

This is set out in regulation 13 of the The School Governance (Constitution) (England) Regulations 2012 and regulations 12, 14 and 25 of The School Governance (Roles, Procedures and Allowances) (England) Regulations 2013.

Headteacher's role on the governing board

The headteacher is a governor when they're on the governing board, and it's their job to report to governors and implement the strategy the governing board has agreed to.

It's the headteacher's job to give