Executive headteacher: role and responsibilities

Understand the role and responsibilities of an executive headteacher and how it differs from the role of a school headteacher.

Last reviewed on 14 February 2022
School types: Maintained, AcademySchool phases: AllRef: 8509
  1. There are no set requirements of the role
  2. It's a strategic role
  3. Tasks in underperforming schools
  4. Meetings between the executive head and school head will depend on your context
  5. Tips for new executive headteachers

There are no set requirements of the role

The role of executive headteacher isn't defined in law, which means it can vary depending on schools' needs and contexts.

An executive headteacher might be appointed where:

  • A school is failing or underperforming
  • A school hasn't managed to recruit a headteacher or is at risk of closure unless it teams up with another school or schools
  • Schools in a locality or town want to adopt a broad-based multi-agency approach to education and child development
  • Schools decide to form a partnership or federation focused on improving teaching and learning through shared professional and curriculum development
  • A school trust or academy sponsor decides to develop a group or chain of schools

This is explained on pages 3, 23 and 24 of this report published by the National College for Leadership of Schools and Children's Services, now the National College for Teaching and Leadership (National College).

It differs to

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