Article 131 of Organic Law 2/2006 on Education (LOE), as amended by Organic Law 3/2020 (LOMLOE), describes the composition and functions of the unipersonal bodies of the management team, which are as follows:
- school head;
- head of studies;
- any other figures established by the education authorities (vice-headteachers, deputy head of studies, vice-secretaries, heads of halls of residence, etc.).
The same article stipulates that school management must combine organisation, administrative management, resource management and pedagogical leadership and dynamisation, from a collaborative approach, seeking a balance between administrative and pedagogical tasks.
Article 132 of the LOE, as amended by the LOMLOE, establishes that the competences of the school head are as follows:
- to represent the centre and inform the educational authorities of their community about the approaches, aspirations and needs of their educational community;
- to supervise and coordinate the activities of the school without detriment to the powers of the Teachers’ Assembly and the School Council;
- to be responsible for the pedagogical supervision, promote educational innovation and encourage plans in order to attain the goals of the School Development Plan;
- to ensure that legislation and other regulations in force are observed;
- to serve as the head for the whole school staff;
- to promote coexistence in the institution;
- to promote collaboration with families, with institutions and with organisations that favour the centre's relations;
- to promote internal evaluations and collaborate in external evaluations and in the evaluation of the teaching staff;
- to call and preside over the academic events and meetings of the School Council and the Teachers’ Assembly and implement the agreements reached by such bodies;
- contract works, services and supplies, as well as authorise expenses in accordance with the school budget, order payments and endorse the official school certifications and documents;
- to formulate proposals to the education authority as regards the appointment and dismissal of members of the management team, subsequent to notification to both the Teachers’Assembly and the School Council;
- to promote experimentation, pedagogical innovations, educational programmes, work plans, forms of organisation, rules of coexistence, extension of the school calendar or of the timetable of areas or subjects;
- to promote the qualification and training of the teaching staff, as well as research, experimentation and educational innovation in the school;
- designing the school's educational planning and organisation, as set out in the annual general programme;
- any other tasks entrusted to it by the Education Authorities.
Both Royal Decree 82/1996, which approves the Organic Regulations of Pre-schools and Primary Schools, and Royal Decree 83/1996, which approves the Organic Regulations of Secondary Schools, describe, among others, the following competences of the head of studies:
- to be in charge of the teaching staff in all matters relating to the academic system;
- coordinating the academic, guidance and complementary activities of teachers and students, in relation to the educational project, the stage curricular projects and the annual general programme;
- to draw up the academic timetables of students and teachers;
- coordinating and directing the work of class teachers;
- coordinating teacher training activities, as well as planning and organising teacher training activities carried out by the education centre;
- participating in drawing up the proposal of educational project and the annual general programme, together with the rest of the management team;
- promoting coexistence in the school and guaranteeing the procedure for imposing the corresponding corrections.
Article 39 of Royal Decree 83/1996 stipulates that in order to support the head of studies in his/her responsibilities, provision has been made for assistant heads of studies for compulsory secondary education (ESO), Bachillerato and vocational training in the case of institutions with a large number of students or a highly complex organisation. Their functions will be those delegated to them by the head of studies.
Royal Decree 82/1996, which approves the Organic Regulations of Pre-schools and Primary Schools, and Royal Decree 83/1996, which approves the Organic Regulations of Secondary Schools, also regulate the powers of the secretary, which are, among others, the following:
- to organise the administrative system of the education centre;
- to act as secretary to the education centre's collegiate governing bodies, to keep the minutes of the meetings and certify the agreements with the approval of the Director.
- to issue the certifications requested by the authorities and interested parties;
- to draw up the general inventory of the education centre and keep it up to date;
- to draw up the education centre's preliminary draft budget;
- to organise the education centre's finances, to keep the accounts and to render accounts to the appropriate authorities;
- to participate in the elaboration of the educational project proposal and the annual general programme, together with the rest of the management team.
In secondary education institutions where complex situations may have sprang, it is possible to have a deputy administrator substituting the secretary when it comes to administering human and material resources. He/She is the only member of the management team that cannot be named by the school head, as he/she is appointed by the education authority and they have a definite assigned post at the school.
In public institutions with special characteristics (special education, specialised education, ordinary schools teaching adult education, Spanish schools abroad, etc.) the composition and functions of their governing bodies are adapted to their singularities.
Two collegiate bodies are also involved in the administration and governance of non-university public schools.
- School council: made up of (Article 126 of the LOE, as amended by the LOMLOE):
- the school head;
- the head of studies;
- the city council representative;
- faculty representatives;
- representatives of the student body;
- representatives of the families;
- a representative of the management and services staff;
- the secretary of the institution.
- Teachers’ Assembly, made up of all teachers serving the institution (Article 128 of the LOE).
In publicly-funded private schools, the required governing bodies are: the school head, the School Council and the Teacher’s Assembly.
Private schools, however, have the autonomy to determine their organisation, in a way that they see fit when establishing their governing and participatory bodies.
Requirements for appointment
In the case of public educational institutions, all members of the management team and any other positions defined by the educational authorities are career civil servant teachers and therefore their initial training is similar to that of other civil servant teachers.
The school head
The selection of the school head, the requirements for candidates, the selection procedure, the appointment, dismissal and recognition of the management role are regulated in articles 133-139 of the LOE as amended by the LOMLOE.
The selection of public schools heads is carried out through a process in which the educational community and the educational administration are involved in a merit-based selection system in which the school's career teachers participate. Likewise, participants must present a management project.
The selection will be carried out at the school by a committee made up of:
- representatives of the Education Administration;
- representatives of the school concerned. At least one third of the members of the committee shall be teachers elected by the teaching staff and another third shall be elected by and from among the non-teaching members of the school council;
- a school head working in schools that provide the same type of education. Those who have passed the selection process must complete a training programme on competences for the performance of the management function.
Those civil servant teachers wishing to access the post of head teacher at a school must present their candidacy at the desired school. The requirements to take part in the competition are as follows:
- to have a length of service of at least 5 years as a career civil servant teacher;
- to have worked as a career civil servant teacher for at least 5 years, in any of the types of provision offered by the chosen institution;
- the educational administrations may consider the training programme for the performance of the management function as a requirement;
- to submit a management project which includes, among other aspects, its objectives, lines of action and assessment.
The education authorities may exempt candidates from fulfilling any of the above mentioned requisites in cases where schools provide exclusively pre-primary education, in incomplete primary education schools, in secondary education schools with less than eight units and in schools where professional artistic education, sport and languages are taught or targeted at adults with less than eight teachers.
Priority is given to teachers of the concerned institution. If there are no applicants from the institution in question or if they are not selected, the committee will take into consideration applicants from other educational establishments.
The selected candidate is decided upon democratically by all members of the committee. The candidature that is selected is the one that obtains the highest final score. Furthermore, the results of the admitted and excluded candidates (always including the reasons behind their exclusion) must be published in the school or institution for which they are competing. The committee proposes the selected candidate to the education authority or announces the lack of selected candidates.
Under extraordinary circumstances, whenever there is a shortage of candidates or whenever a school has just been opened or even if the corresponding committee has not selected any candidates, the education authority may appoint a civil servant teacher as a school head for a maximum of four years.
Prior to their appointment as school heads, candidates must successfully complete the training programme on the performance of the management function, as defined in Royal Decree 894/2014, which sets out the characteristics of said training programme:
|Organisation||it can be organised by an education authority, or by natural or legal persons as appear to the education authority to be appropriate.|
|Target staff||as a priority, permanent teaching staff in public educational institutions. If there are vacancies, they can be filled by temporary staff..|
|Structure||it includes a theoretical and a practical part. It has a modular structure of a varying length, according to the content.|
|Type of provision||The corresponding education authority establishes the type of provision, so classroom-based and distance provision can be combined in the different modules.|
|Development of the course|
Core modules (as a minimum)
(apart from other specific modules that might be established by the relevant education authority)
|Module I. Regulatory framework for educational institutions Module II. Organisation and management of educational institutions Module III. Management of school resources Module IV. Key factors for effective leadership Module V. Accountability and educational quality Module VI. Management project.|
|Minimum duration||120 hours. It includes all core modules. The specific modules that might be established by the regional education authorities are excluded.|
|Teaching and supervision||The course and its modules can be delivered, supervised and assessed by:
|Completion of the course||the education authority organising the course establishes in each call the evaluation criteria for the management project and each one of the modules.|
|Temporal validity||unlimited (once the course is successfully completed).|
|Territorial validity||valid throughout the country, regardless of the education authority organising them.|
|Exemption from certain modules||those holding an official Master’s degree or postgraduate degree on leadership and management of educational institutions are exempt from taking the core modules as well as the specific modules the relevant education authority might establish, with the exception of the ‘management project’ module.|
Source: Drawn up by Eurydice Spain-Spanish Network for Information on Education (INEE, MEFP) on the basis of current regulations.
Apart from the course previously mentioned, there is also the course on the updating of management skills. Its characteristics are the same as those for the training course on the development of leadership, except for:
- core modules:
- module I: updating of the regulatory framework for educational institutions
- module II: management of institutional approaches
- module III: efficient and effective management of school resources
- module IV: key factors for effective leadership
- module V: accountability and educational quality
- module VI: management project.
- minimum duration: 60 hours.
In addition to the aforementioned course, there is also a management skills refresher course. Its characteristics are similar to those of the management development training course:
- core modules:
- module I: update on the regulatory framework applicable to schools;
- module II: management of institutional approaches;
- module III: efficient and effective management of school resources;
- module IV: key factors for effective management;
- module V: accountability and educational quality;
- module VI: leadership project;
- minimum duration: 60 hours.
Once the training course has been completed, the directors of the centre are appointed for a period of four years.
This appointment may be renewed for further periods of four years, subject to a positive evaluation of the work carried out at the end of each period.
School heads assessed positively obtain personal, professional and economic recognition throughout their school headship.
The criteria and procedures for this evaluation are public and objective and will include the results of indicators such as the degree of compliance with the objectives of the management project, the promotion of the climate of coexistence, improvement plans, etc.
Similarly, the education authorities may establish a maximum limit of terms school heads may apply for renewal. Once the chances of renewal are no longer possible, the candidate must take part in a new merits competition in order to be appointed as school head again in the same or in a different institution.
Once school heads end their term of office, they return to their original teaching post. For this reason or cause, the education authorities may appoint a temporary school head, who will carry out the corresponding tasks until the next selection period is over and a new director is appointed.
The Order of 9 October 1996, on the constitution and appointment of the governing bodies of publicly-funded private schools, stipulates that, in publicly-funded private schools the school head is appointed by the employer or elected in accordance with the legislation in force. His/her functions are to manage, guide and supervise the educational activities, in addition to those other duties that may be entrusted to him/her.
In the case of non-subsidised private schools, as provided for in Article 13 of the 11th National Collective Bargaining Agreement for general regime private institutions or formal education institutions without any educational agreement or public financial support, the school shall appoint the head teacher on a temporary basis, and his/her task shall be to guide and supervise the educational activities in all their aspects and others that may be entrusted to him/her (Annex I).
Other members of the Management Team
In public institutions, the school head, proposes the appointment and dismissal of the rest of the members of the management team to the Education Administration. This proposal is communicated in advance to the Teachers' Assembly and the School Council and is regulated by Article 131 of the LOE, as amended by the LOMLOE.
The main requirement to be appointed is that of being a civil servant teacher and teaching some of the subjects at the institution. In cases where the institution has recently opened or when there is a lack of civil servant teachers with a fixed position at the institution itself, the school head may nominate teachers of the institution which do not have a fixed position, with the consent of the School Council.
All members of the management team have to cease their duties at the end of the term of office or upon the termination of service of the headteacher.
In private and publicly-funded private schools, all other employees performing management functions or temporary management positions are the deputy director, the head of studies and the head of department. These positions are appointed by the employer and are defined in Order of 16 October 1996 and in Article 13 of the 11th National Collective Bargaining Agreement for general regime private institutions or formal education institutions without any educational agreement or public financial support.
Conditions of service
In general terms, the conditions of service for school heads, heads of studies and secretaries in public schools are similar to those of other career civil servant teachers, with some exceptions listed below.
The school head
School heads have the status of civil servant teachers, which means that they have an indefinite contractual relation with the education authorities.
The salary for school heads in public institutions is established, in the same way as for the rest of civil servant teachers, according to the adscription to the body or scale to which they belong, to a certain professional Subgroup or Group, to their seniority (three year work period), to their category or professional level (Destination Complement) and the post they carry out (Specific Complement). The specific complement is composed of:
- general specific complement;
- training complement ( six years of service);
- complement linked to the exercise of management.
The General State Budget only influences the common salaries for all teachers in Spain. This remuneration includes the basic salary, the three-year bonus payments, the additional remuneration attached to a post, the extra pay salary and the extra pay three-year bonus. The autonomous communities, in turn, determine the complement for management positions.
These are the monthly figures in euros provided for in the 2023 State Budget.
Annual gross salaries of directors in public institutions
The following salary ranges can be found in the different autonomous communities.
- Lowest salary range
|Type of institution||Minimum wage||Maximum wage|
|Pre-primary and primary education||Smaller centres (specific size according to autonomous community)||35 877||48 596|
|Secondary education||Smaller centres (specific size according to autonomous community)||43 276||59 903|
- Highest salary range
|Type of schools||Minimum wage||Maximum wage|
|Pre-primary and primary education||Larger centres (specific size according to autonomous community)||42 070||54 788|
|Secondary education||Larger centres (specific size according to autonomous community)||47 2940||63 921|
Source: Eurydice report (Teachers and school heads’ salaries and allowances in Europe 2019/20 - Facts and figures).
The education authorities are the ones in charge of establishing the number of hours that are to be assigned to teaching and to headship tasks, which vary in accordance to the function of the post (if it is that of a school head or any other leadership posts), of the level of studies taught at the institution and of its size (amount of registered students), resulting in a different teaching load for school heads from one Autonomous Community to another.
In the event of absence or illness of the school head, the head of studies or equivalent will temporarily substitute the school head in all of his/her duties. If that is not the case, the school head would then be substituted by the most senior teacher of the institution and, in the event of there being various teachers with the same status of seniority, the one that has held the position of teacher for a longer period of time would be the appointed one.
Educational Authorities, both at State and at regional level, organise specific programmes and courses of continuous professional development (CPD) for the practise of the headship function in teaching institutions, in order to improve the leadership teams’ performance and are regulated by Royal Decree 894/2014.
Taking part in these programmes or courses leads to specific effects on teachers' professional careers no matter what the ownership of the institution where they work is, such as merits when participating in public promotion or mobility calls, or the awarding of a 'salary complement' (a supplement that is added every five or six years).
School heads are evaluated at the end of the period for which they were appointed. If they obtain a positive evaluation they receive personal and professional recognition as is established by the education authorities, which are the ones that set up the assessment procedure and its characteristics.
Regarding mobility, and as career civil servants, they have the possibility to apply for the state-wide transfer competitions regulated by Royal Decree 1364/2010, Order EFP/834/2022 and regional regulations. These transfer competitions are organised by the education authorities to cover vacancies in schools, and also those organised within their own administrative areas.
The dismissal of any of the leadership members, as in the case of any of the rest of civil servant teachers, takes place whenever a serious offence has been committed, there is a loss of Spanish nationality or the fact of being banned from exercising any kind of professional activity. The management of such processes corresponds to a commission of administrative infractions and is dealt with through a common process for all public civil servants. Articles 93-98 of the Law on the Basic Statute of Public Workers, establish the grounds for dismissal.
Retirement conditions for school heads are the same as those corresponding to other civil servant teachers. The compulsory age for civil servant teachers to retire is 65 years of age. The amount of each pension varies depending on the years served. Teachers' retirement and pensions are different depending on the ownership of the educational institution where they teach and the type of Social Security scheme, general or special, to which they contribute.
To be entitled to an ordinary retirement pension, you must have completed at least 15 years of.
- Compulsory retirement: declared on reaching the age of 65. If, at this age, you have recognised 12 years of effective service and you have not completed the minimum 15 years required to access the pension, you can request an extension of your active service, which will include only the remaining period of time you need to reach the 15 years required. This extension can be extended to a maximum of 70 years.
- Voluntary retirement: Civil servants included in the Passive Class Scheme may retire voluntarily at the age of 60, provided they have 30 years of recognised service.
- By declaration of permanent incapacity or by recognition of a pension of absolute permanent incapacity or total permanent incapacity.
In a similar way to public schools and publicly-funded private schools, in private schools (with no public funding), the conditions of service of the school head are similar to those of the rest of the teachers, except for a few minor variations:
- contractual relation: in both types of centres, the labour relationship is that agreed between the worker and the employer;
- salary: in both types of institutions, the performance of this position is associated with the earning of a specific salary supplement. The amount is determined in the salary charts of the collective agreements for each type of institution (publicly-funded private schools and exclusively private schools) and is paid for as long as this function or position is carried out;
- working hours: in both types of institutions, the heads of the centres must increase their annual working hours by 210 hours (in private centres, at a rate of 5 hours per week), which they must dedicate to carrying out their functions. This increase in the working day is maintained as long as the performance of said function or position lasts;
- holidays: in both types of institutions the school head enjoys the same holiday periods as the rest of the teaching staff;
- substitution: in both types of institutions the vice-school head, who is appointed by the employer, assists the school head and replaces him/her, if necessary;
- dismissal: in both types of institutions, as for the rest of the staff, this occurs when a major infraction takes place;
- retirement: in both types of schools, the conditions for access to retirement are the same as those for the rest of the teaching staff. The amount of each pension varies depending on the years served.
In educational establishments which are wholly or partly publicly funded (those referred to as publicly-funded schools), the conditions of teaching staff are regulated in the 7th Collective Bargaining Agreement for private education companies fully or partially supported by public funds. In educational establishments without any level of subsidised or publicly-funded education (private schools), they are regulated in the 11th National Collective Bargaining Agreement for general regime private institutions or formal education institutions without any educational agreement or public financial support.
Other members of the Management Team
The school head, having previously consulted the Teacher’s Assembly and the School Council, drafts a proposal for the appointment of the head of studies, secretary or other members of the leadership team to the education authority. They are all civil servant teachers, which means that they enjoy an indefinite contractual relation with the education authority.
The salary retribution of the leadership members of public institutions is established, in the same way as for the rest of civil servant teachers, according to the adscription to the body or scale to which they belong, to a certain professional Subgroup or Group, to their seniority (three year work period), to their category or professional level (Destination Complement) and the post they carry out (Specific Complement).
Additionally, however, they perceive a 'singular component' of the Specific Complement as members of the leadership team, included in both their ordinary monthly wages and in the additional pays in June and December. Such complement is restricted solely to the period during which they hold these posts. The State establishes the minimum amount of this complement and the education authorities of the Autonomous Communities set their final amount, which varies depending on the different types of institutions and on the number of registered students.
Complementary minimum retributions for leadership positions in non-university studies
Type of institution
Secondary Education, Vocational Training (VET) and related insitutions
Early Childhood, Primary, Specialised Education and related institutions
Head of studies
Head of studies
Ordinary monthly payments
(June / December)
290.94 / 276.40
188.59 / 179.17
285.29 / 271.03
177.21 / 168.35
205.66 / 195.38
171.53 / 162.96
|177.21 / 168.35|
126.03 / 119.73
|177.21 / 168.35|
98.24 / 93.33
Source: Drawn up by Eurydice Spain-Spanish Network for Information on Education on the basis of current regulations.
Leadership members are assigned the same working hours and enjoy the same holidays as the rest of the teaching staff. As in the case of the school head, their own specific school leadership tasks are included within their teaching hours, so their teaching load is reduced.
The education authorities are the ones in charge of establishing the number of hours that are to be assigned to teaching and to leadership tasks, which vary in accordance to the the position held, the level of studies taught at the institution and its size (amount of registered students), and the specific organisational needs.
For the purposes of public competitions for job transfer, the exercise in the position of head of studies and secretary, or other management positions, is recognised and valued in a relevant way.
In the event of absence or illness of the head of studies, the secretary or equivalent leadership members, a teacher appointed by the school head may substitute any of these posts and take charge temporarily of their duties. The School Council must be informed about the school head’s decision.
The leadership team’s term of office ends upon termination of the school head's term of office which appointed them, or under any of the following circumstances:
- a motivated resignation accepted by the school head, and after having informed the School Council of the institution of their decision to leave
- when the teacher holding the management post stops exercising their duties due to voluntary or forced mobility, or transfers to a special services position, takes voluntary or forced leave or suspension of the functions takes place as established by the current legislation, or due to any other circumstance
- proposed by the school head via a written document, having previously informed the School Council of the institution
- whenever they severely breach any of their functions, the school head will draft a report on the offence for the interested party and will inform the School Council.
The conditions for taking part in programmes and CPD courses, mobility, dismissal and retirement are the ones established for civil servant teachers, described under the working conditions of the school head.
In private and publicly-funded institutions, the conditions of service for any other members performing leadership functions or occupying temporary leadership positions are similar to those of the school head.