People in schools


Adult other than Teacher.


Assistant Principal Teacher (Scotland).


Advanced Skills Teacher.


Bi-lingual teaching assistant.

Deputy headteacher

A teacher who has been specifically appointed to deputise for the headteacher and who is likely to have been delegated a range of important management functions by the headteacher, as well as maintaining responsibility for a class of children. A similar position to that of Vice Principal and Assistant Head.

Designated Teachers

Advocates who liaise with other services on behalf of young people in care.


Director of learning.


Director Of Student Progress.

Generalist class teacher

A teacher who teaches all subjects of the National Curriculum to his or her class of children.  Allows great flexibility and is often associated with the statement that ‘I teach children not subjects’.  Reflects the assertion of an important quality in the commitment of primary school teachers to the social and emotional development of children.  Particularly common in work with young children, where the balance of advantage is seen to lie with generalism and knowing the personalities of the children very well. See Specialist subject teacher


A school or college governor is a voluntary position that involves overseeing the running of the institution. Duties include playing a part in appointing staff (including the headteacher); setting the strategic direction, policies and objectives; approving the budget and reviewing progress against the budget and objectives. Below are definitions of some aspects of school governance:

Instrument of Government

The legal document which specifies the composition of governing bodies and defines the rules and procedures through which they function.

Chair of governors

A governor who is elected annually to chair meetings and represent the governing body between meetings.

Parent governor

A parent who has been elected by other parents of pupils at a school, to serve on the governing body.

Local Education Authority governor

A school governor who has been appointed, and can be removed, by the LEA.  Normally these appointments reflect the balance of political representation in the area.

Minor authority governor

A school governor who is a representative of a minor authority, such as a parish council.

Teacher governor

A governor who is a teacher at the school and has been elected by his or her colleagues.

Headteacher governor

A headteacher has a right to attend all meetings of the governing body and is a governor unless he or she opts not to be.

Co-opted governor

A governor of a county or controlled school who are added to the governing body by other governors for a particular reason, such as having relevant expertise, representing an underrepresented part of the community, etc.

Foundation governor

A governor who has been appointed, and can be removed, by the church or other organisation which provides the school.

Clerk of governors

The secretary to the governing body who issues agendas and compiles minutes.

Governors’ sub-committees

Groups of governors who meet between meetings of the full governing body to work on particular aspects of a school’s affairs, such as staffing, curriculum, finance, sites and buildings.  They report back to the governing body.

Governing body

The group of parents, LEA, community representatives and teachers set up under the terms of School’s Articles of Government to direct school policy and oversee school management (see Education Act, 1986).


The senior teacher and leader of school staff who is responsible for the implementation of National Curriculum and assessment requirements, school policies as set by governors, school staff, external liaison and effective use of financial and other resources.


Higher level teaching assistant.  A relatively recent designation, introduced to afford higher status to more experienced TAs.


Head of Department.


Learning Support Assistant.


Midday supervisor.


Mid-day Assistant.

School caretakers

Staff who have responsibility for daily maintenance and security of a school.

School cleaners

Cleaners, normally employed by a company who have won a contract to clean a school.

School secretaries

Staff who support the work of the headteacher and deal with many facets of routine school administration, from greeting parents, simple first aid, typing letters and maintaining budget records.


School meal supervisory assistants. Staff employed to supervise children at dinner times.


Senior Management Team. A small group of senior staff in a school, normally receiving additional pay allowances, who support the headteacher in implementing school policies by acting as ‘middle-managers’.

Specialist subject teacher

A teacher who specialises in the teaching of a limited number of National Curriculum subjects and teaches them to several classes across the school.  The specialist teacher is the norm in secondary schools and is becoming more common in work with older children in the primary phase, where the balance of advantage is seen to lie with specialism and knowing the subject to be studied very well. See Generalist class teacher. A semi-specialist teacher is a hybrid of generalist and specialist in which the roles are enacted selectively for particular purposes.  For instance, four teachers in a junior school may teach English, maths and some topics which integrate history, geography, technology and art as a generalist to their own class.  However, music, science, physical education and information & communication technology may be taught by these same four teachers, working in each other’s classrooms so that each can share a particular expertise which he or she has.

Supply teachers

Qualified teachers who are not in full-time teaching posts who make themselves available for occasional work to cover for absent school staff.


Teaching Assistant.  See also HLTA. Also stand for Teaching Agency and Teacher Assessment.