Advice for a new deputy headteacher

Make a good start as a deputy headteacher by understanding your responsibilities and getting to know your school community.

Last reviewed on 27 September 2023
School types: All · School phases: All
Ref: 1096
  1. Understand your responsibilities
  2. Identify your areas for development
  3. Prepare for when your headteacher is absent  
  4. Prioritise building effective stakeholder relationships 
  5. Find out about coaching or mentoring
  6. CPD and performance objectives 

Understand your responsibilities

Maintained school deputy heads

You must:

  • Play a major role under the overall direction of your headteacher in:
    • Formulating the aims and objectives of your school
    • Establishing the policies through which they're to be achieved
    • Managing staff and resources to that end
    • Monitoring progress towards their achievement
  • Undertake any professional duties of the headteacher that they reasonably delegate to you 

In addition, you must undertake the professional duties of the headteacher when they’re absent. This is the main difference between a deputy headteacher and an assistant headteacher – see our role comparison for more details.

This is set out in paragraph 48.1 and 48.2 (page 46) of the School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions Document (STPCD).

Academy deputy heads

Check if you're are contractually entitled to the conditions set out in the STPCD. 

If you're not, your academy