You may have heard the proverb ‘it takes a village to raise a child’. This is certainly the case in the school system. There are so many people, alongside the subject teacher, that work to ensure a functioning and productive school environment for all. Of course, these roles vary from school to school, but the Get My Grades team have provided you with a comprehensive snapshot of the common roles within a school.


Let’s start with the obvious one. Headteachers are ultimately responsible for the smooth running of the school, the achievement of pupils and the management and welfare of staff. They also have a hand in the managerial and pastoral running of the school and are often the main point of contact for governors, the police, the local community and Ofsted to name a few. Many are often surprised to hear that head teachers also do some teaching. They are supported by the deputy headteacher and the Senior Leadership Team (SLT).

Head of Department (HoD)

Equipped with their vision, leadership and motivation skills, the HoD is responsible for managing their department. Their role includes many things: ensuring school policies are followed in the department, monitoring and evaluating staff performance, buying resources for the department, supporting the professional development of staff, reviewing schemes of work and more.

Head of Year (HoY)

The person who has a strong relationship with the year they are attached to and knows the students very well. They will often take over part of the pastoral provision for their year group and monitor the children’s personal and academic progress closely.

Pastoral Lead

Overseeing pastoral provision in the school often involves liaison with external agencies. Communicates and works closely with subject teachers to deal with issues such as behaviour. Usually, a figure that students would be encouraged to go and talk to, they tend to also communicate with parents often.

Safeguarding Officer 

Often involves liaison with external agencies, promotes and monitors child protection and acts as a source of support, advice and expertise to staff on matters of safeguarding. They are responsible for ensuring all are kept up to date with the school’s child protection procedure and policy. Like all staff, safeguarding officers keep anything they know about a student confidential unless they genuinely believe that the student (or other students) are at

Subject teachers 

Teach, track, assess, plan, mark, maintain behaviour, engage students and generally be amazing.

Teaching Assistant

Supports teachers in and out of the classroom. They can work with individuals, small groups and students with special educational needs (SEN).

Exam Officer

They oversee all aspects of examinations management within the school. This includes: arranging public exam entry submissions, fees, admin, timetabling and room arrangements for exams, coordinating the team of invigilators, ensuring deadlines are met and students are given all the necessary information about their exams.


A Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator is responsible for special educational needs at the school. They are to implement and uphold the school’s SEN policy and oversee the day to day practical implementation of this. Often the key contact for parents, educational psychologists, health and social care professionals and more.

Form teacher/ tutor 

Their role varies massively from school to school. Usually, they are the first people to see the children in the morning and are to check students have correct uniform and equipment for the day as they register them. They also have a pastoral care responsibility as they can clearly see issues in attendance, behaviour etc.  

Support staff

Receptionist, Librarian, Finance, Maintenance, Kitchen, School Nurse, IT staff.

Having these roles within a school allows for clear lines of responsibility, accountability and a clear go-to person for specific cases. A school, however, is one of the most unpredictable places there is. Adaptability in such a dynamic environment – within reason and without making the distribution of roles redundant – is crucial.

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