Key Purpose

To provide professional leadership to MSA, working in cooperation with members and stakeholders to develop MSA’s role and services.


  • The Lead Headteacher (LH) will be appointed by the Forum of Directors, and will be directly accountable to the Forum that meet four times per year.
  • The LH will not be a Director of MSA.
  • The LH will provide a written report to the Forum for each meeting.
  • The LH will be authorised to commit expenditure of up to £4,000. They may commit expenditure of up to £10,000 by agreement with the Forum Chair, and within the terms of the Business Plan. Expenditure outside the terms of the Business Plan or for any item over £10,000 will require the approval of the Forum.


  • To steer MSA’s development, responding to the needs of and views of MSA members and the local, regional and national context.
  • To lead the process of formulating MSA’s strategic objectives, offer to members, and business plan.
  • To be responsible for promoting MSA’s work and securing delivery of MSA’s offer, including conferences and networking events.
  • To support the Chairs of MSA’s reference and strategy groups in developing effective consultation and feedback to MSA and to contribute to these groups as appropriate.
  • To represent MSA and its members externally, acting as an advocate for the work of MSA and the contribution made by schools to the City, and enabling schools to make productive links with external partners.
  • To represent MSA and the interests of schools in the city’s Strategic Education Partnership and the Manchester School Improvement Partnership and with other relevant city and sub-regional  initiatives as they arise.
  • To work with the City Council, advising lead officers and representing the perspective of MSA members to the Council, DfE and Ofsted.
  • To have oversight of the budget and financial planning and work to secure resources for MSA.
  • To prepare an annual report on the work of MSA.
  • To line manage the Business Manager and any other staff employed by or working for MSA.

Terms and Conditions

  •  The LH will be a serving or recently retired Manchester headteacher.
  • The LH will be appointed for a period of two years, renewable by agreement, or for such other length of time as the Forum decides.
  • The consent of the LH’s Board of Governors/ Trustees (or equivalent) will be required and confirmed by a service-level agreement.
  • If currently a serving HT, the LH will be released from their school for the equivalent of 40 day per year. The school will be repaid for the service at the rate of £475 per day.
  • The LH will continue to be based at their school.

October 2023