The people that make a school work | London Private Office

The people that make a school work

Fantastic facilities, effective teaching methods, challenging curricula, and a wealth of culture are some of the key selling points of British independent schools and are one of the main driving forces in their continued growth in popularity around the world. However, it is important to note that the main reason why British independent schools have been able to provide an unrivalled standard of education is due to their faculty, leadership, and other members of staff that make the schools work.

Here are the main key roles:

The board of governors

The board of governors is in charge of planning and making policies which includes controlling the administrative and financial aspects of a school. Most governors are experts in their professional lives so they are able to contribute their knowledge for the benefit of the school. Governors are volunteers and may have children who attend the school.


The head is responsible for the daily management of the school and is accountable to the board of governors.  Important duties include hiring staff, organising the curriculum, and ensuring the safety of students. In most cases, heads have been excellent teachers but some still dedicate a part of their schedule to teaching in order to share their expertise and develop relationships with students. Many heads also insist on interviewing prospective students.


The registrar is in charge of admissions and works with agents, parents, and students during the entire length of the admissions process.

Senior Leadership Team

The Senior Leadership Team (SLT) is comprised of established teachers and heads of department. Each member of SLT has an area of responsibility and is the main point of contact for other teachers and students if they have an issue covering their relevant area.

Subject teachers

Subject teachers are responsible for the academic programme of students taking their subject. This includes teaching lessons, providing in-class pastoral care, and writing reports which monitor student progress.

Director of studies

Some schools have a director of studies who is responsible for the general organisation of the daily curriculum such as scheduling lessons and exams along with providing support to teachers when required.


A housemaster or housemistress is in charge of ensuring students are safe, happy, and comfortable living in their boarding house. They know each of the students in their house personally and the children’s well-being is their primary concern.


A matron ensures that the vital everyday tasks in a boarding house such as the cleaning and laundry are performed. Matrons are often very kind and get to know students well so they provide pastoral and emotional support to students if students feel upset or homesick.


Students are encouraged by schools to get involved in various aspects of school life. There are various ways students can contribute to a school. One of the most common ways is through sporting or academic extra-curricular activities. Students that set a good example to others can attain a senior role amongst pupils in the form of a prefect or even head boy/girl where they become responsible for some of the daily routines and operations at a school.

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