Deputy headteacher (primary): role and responsibilities

Understand the role and responsibilities of a deputy headteacher in a primary school and which duties might be appropriate for a deputy head in your school.

Last reviewed on 1 November 2023See updates
School types: AllSchool phases: PrimaryRef: 5463
  1. Requirements of the role
  2. Deputising for the headteacher
  3. Raising standards
  4. Health and safety
  5. Deputy headteachers in small primary schools

Requirements of the role

The School Teachers' Pay and Conditions Document (STPCD) sets out the professional responsibilities of deputy headteachers in maintained schools. The STPCD also applies to academy teachers whose employment transferred to the academy at the point of conversion.

Deputy headteachers employed under the STPCD must “undertake any professional duties of the headteacher reasonably delegated by the headteacher (paragraph 48, page 46).

They must also “play a major role under the overall direction of the headteacher” in:

  • Formulating the aims and objectives of the school
  • Establishing the policies through which the aims and objectives will be achieved
  • Managing staff and resources to meet the school's aims and objectives
  • Monitoring progress towards achieving the aims and objectives

The deputy head must also take on the professional duties of the headteacher when they are absent.

Consider whether it would be more appropriate or cost