Roles and Responsibilities (The doughnut)


Summary of this person-centered thinking tool

The doughnut is a tool that helps people understand not only what they must do (core responsibilities), but where they can try things using their own judgment and creativity. It also identifies what is not their responsibility. It is often known as the doughnut because it is a visual tool with an inner ring where core responsibilities are recorded, a second ring showing where people can use their judgement and be creative, and an outer ring which reflects areas that are not the person’s responsibility.

Roles and responsibities (doughnut)

Benefits for pupils

  • It can be used with pupils and staff to clarify roles and responsibilities within the school. Using the doughnut creates a culture of accountability where everyone understands their roles and what they are accountable for and where people can be creative.

Benefits for parents

  • Helps parents understand what their responsibilities are and what they can expect from teachers (and what is not the teachers’ responsibilities).

Benefits for school staff and teams

  • Helps with staff well-being – not knowing what is expected of you is a source of anxiety and stress.
  • Can be used as a basis for personalised job descriptions and contracts.
  • Can be used with pupils and parents to think together with teachers about roles and responsibilities in a particular situation.
  • Can inform home/school agreements.
  • Can inform classroom agreements or rules.

Benefits for others

  • The doughnut can be used to clarify responsibilities and expectations between school staff, the senior leadership team and the Governors about their roles generally or about key issues.