Subject leader: role and responsibilities

Get to grips with the nature of the role and the responsibilities of a subject leader, so you can develop an effective model of middle leadership.

Last reviewed on 5 February 2024
School types: AllSchool phases: AllRef: 43736
  1. You're not required to have subject leaders in your school
  2. Example of subject leader duties

You're not required to have subject leaders in your school

It's up to you as a headteacher to decide if your school needs them and for which subject areas.

For example, if you're a small school, you might choose to have subject leaders for some subjects, such as English, maths and science, but not for others. 

Example of subject leader duties

Below you'll find the main duties taken from our model job description for a subject leader. There are no specific statutory requirements for this role, so we've based it on the most common duties that other schools include. 

The duties may look different in your school, depending on the context and the level of responsibility delegated to your middle leaders. 

Strategic direction Promote the subject, its importance, and the value it brings across the school Have a good understanding of how well the subject is being