Delegated Head of School authority

The Head of School is the only member of the School of Informatics with "Head of Department" status. However, for the Head of School to make every decision that calls for a Head of Department authority, especially when it comes to signing documents, would waste time and cause delays.

Furthermore, in many cases someone else in the School is better informed to make the decision. It, therefore, makes sense to delegate this authority, provided there are clear guidelines about the extent of delegation and the Head of School's authority is sought in exceptional circumstances. This document provides those guidelines.


Our charter of accounts creates a variety of accounts throughout the School and specifies who has signatory authority on each of these accounts. Signatory authority will also be specified for research grants. However, the Director of Professional Services's permission (delegated to by the Head of School) should be sought for any item of expenditure over £25K.

Expenses claims

Expenses claims should be signed by whoever has signatory authority for that account, provided nobody signs their own expense claim. Where this would otherwise occur, eg where there is only one signatory on an account who is also the claimant, the claim should be signed by the immediate line manager of the claimant or their delegee. Normally, claims made by Head of School are signed by the School’s Director of Professional Services.

Research grant/contract proposals

Grant/contract proposal paperwork should normally be signed by the Director of the Institute within which those grants are to be held. However, if a proposal implies any unusual resource burden on the School, the Head of School's permission must be sought. "Unusual resource burden" means any use of support staff time or School equipment or any expenditure which goes beyond that which is provided as part of the baseline support for research in the School. If a Director of Institute signs a proposal without first seeking permission and unusual resource burdens later occur then these burdens will normally fall on the institute concerned. The Head of School will sign for grants/contracts not to be held in an institute.

Communications with funding bodies

Communications with funding bodies, on behalf of the Head of School, about grants, contracts, studentships, etc held within an institute should normally be signed by the Director of the Institute concerned. Communications concerning the School as a whole should be signed by the Head of School or his delegate, eg the Head of the Graduate School, School Officer, etc.

Student exemptions

The ITO has prepared a list of guidelines where Head of School’s permission is required for a student to be exempted from some prerequisite. These guidelines specify actions for the commonly occurring situations. They have been approved by the Head of School. The Director and Deputy Director of the ITO are delegated authority to act within them. Outside these guidelines the Head of School's permission should be sought.

Postgraduate report forms

Annual report forms for PGR students should be signed by the Head or Deputy Head of the Graduate School, unless some unusual action is recommended, in which case the Head of School will be consulted.

Staff contracts

Any paperwork associated with contracts for staff attached to an institute and funded directly by grants or contracts should normally be signed by the Director of the Institute concerned. Paperwork for centrally funded and/or centrally attached staff should be signed by the Head of School. All such paperwork should be checked by an appropriate member of administrative staff before signature.