Last reviewed on 13 October 2021
School types: All · School phases: All
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If you're starting out as a deputy headteacher, understand your responsibilities and how to prepare to deputise. Be clear on the benefits of mentoring schemes and effective stakeholder relationships.

We’d like to thank Tom Elkins, one of our associate education experts, for his help with this article. 

Understand your responsibilities

Unlike an assistant headteacher, as a deputy, you can be required to take on the professional duties of the headteacher in their absence.

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 are 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, "to the extent required by the headteacher or the relevant body".

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

Prepare for your