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Deputy and assistant heads' sector council

Chair: Bev Sheppard, deputy head teacher, The Deans Primary School, Manchester

Deputy and assistant head teachers, and vice-principals work at the beating heart of school leadership. These critical roles have weighty and wide-ranging responsibilities including curriculum leadership, management of assessment strategies, monitoring and tracking of pupils’ progress, pastoral management, leadership of safeguarding and promoting the mental wellbeing of staff and pupils.

This council provides a wider understanding of, and representation for, issues affecting deputy and assistant heads and vice principals across both the primary and secondary sector. It meets four times a year, helping to steer and develop our policy and campaigning priorities and ensures our advice and guidance reflects the needs of these members who are the backbone of the senior leadership team.

The council also works closely with our professional development team to shape our new and aspiring head teachers’ conference and supports the work of our membership team in recruiting new deputy head teacher, assistant head teacher and vice principal members. 

Areas of focus for the council include:

  • accountability
  • curriculum and assessment
  • pupil well-being
  • recruitment and retention
  • workload
  • school funding.

For any questions about the council, get in touch with our policy team by emailing