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Contents. Introduction One of the most important functions a Governing Body will undertake is the appointment of a new Headteacher or Deputy Headteacher. The quality of leadership provided by the person appointed will be crucial in determining the success of your school.

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One of the most important functions a Governing Body will undertake is the appointment of a new Headteacher or Deputy Headteacher. The quality of leadership provided by the person appointed will be crucial in determining the success of your school.

“Evidence shows that the quality of leadership is the single most important factor under the Governing Body’s control in determining the success of a school”

At first the task of finding the right person for your school may seem a little daunting, however, Caerphilly Local Authority is committed to ensure that effective support and guidance is available to assist you throughout the Recruitment Process.



The purpose of this document is to:

  • Provide guidance to the governing body and the school on the appointment process;
  • Provide a framework that will enable the governing body, headteacher and the Local Authority to work in partnership when appointing Senior Leaders;
  • Ensure that the process followed is objective and rigorous and complies with legal requirements.



How long will the process take?

The recruitment of a Headteacher or Deputy Headteacher can take a number of months, it is therefore advisable to start planning the recruitment process as soon as a resignation letter has been received. (See resignation deadline dates). Adequate time will need to be built into the process for preparation, advertising, receipt & photocopying of application forms, short-listing, seeking and receiving references and interviews.


Deadline dates for resignations throughout the academic year.

There are three resignation deadlines throughout the academic year and these are listed overleaf. Headteachers, however, are required to give three months’ notice with an extra month’s notice during the summer term.

Headteachers are asked to provide a copy of their letter of resignation to the Chair of Governors and Director of Education. The Governing Body must ensure that the Local Authority has been notified of the vacancy in writing before taking any steps to advertise the post.

Once a resignation has been received the Governing Body should arrange a meeting of the Full Governing Body and a representative of the Director of Education to plan and agree the appointment process.



The Legal Framework

The selection process and related procedures must be conducted within the legal framework as defined in The Staffing of Maintained Schools (Wales) Regulations 2006 and (Miscellaneous Amendments) (Wales) Regulations 2007.

The Governing Body must ensure that the appointment process is systematic, objective, transparent, fair and will stand up to rigorous scrutiny and any possible challenge. The whole process must comply with all anti-discrimination legislation and the Data Protection Act 1998.

Outgoing or Acting Headteachers/ Deputy Headteachers must not be involved in any way in the appointment of their successor, furthermore they must withdraw from any planned meetings of the Selection Panel.

The Director of Education or his/ her representative is entitled to be present throughout the appointment process to offer support and advise the Governing Body (this applies to both Community and Foundation schools). The decision on whom to appoint to Headship rests with the Governing Body, however, the Governing Body has a duty to consider the Director of Education’s advice before making a decision.



Full Governing Body Meeting

  • The full Governing Body meeting will need to :-
  • Confirm the membership of the Selection Panel (Some Governors may have an interest and should not take part in the process – see page 14)
  • The Selection Panel must consist of at least three but no more than 7 members; although an odd number is recommended as in the event of an equal decision of votes the Chair of the Panel will have a casting vote.
  • One member of the Selection Panel should be elected as Chair (this cannot be a member of staff at the school).
  • The membership of the Panel may include persons who are not governors and the extent to which such members are entitled to vote is determined by the Governing Body, however, the majority must be governors.
  • All members of the Selection Panel must attend All stages of the appointment process.
  • No other members of the Governing Body should attend meetings or act as observers as this may prejudice the integrity of and independence of the Selection Panel.



Review the Individual School Range (ISR)

  • It is recommended that the Governing Body review/confirm the ISR for the school in consultation with the appropriate Local Authority Officer, taking account of the school’s size and circumstances.
  • All duties relating to the appointment of a Headteacher or Deputy Headteacher are the responsibility of the Selection Panel.



Selection Panel Meeting

  • Agree a Person Specification, Job Description and an Advertisement.
  • The vacancy must be advertised in National publications, as the Governing Body considers appropriate. The Selection Panel is responsible for approving the advert, including the cost, as this will be borne by the school’s budget.
  • General Arrangements
  • The Panel will also need to set dates for Short-listing, Interviews and Ratification meeting, agreeing timescales, venues and refreshments as appropriate (all costs are borne by the school’s budget). Agree who is responsible for carrying out key tasks including who will provide information for candidates.
  • Information for Candidates
  • The provision of good quality information to potential applicants is an important element in the recruitment process.
  • The information pack will typically include:
  • The School Prospectus
  • Governors’ Annual Report to Parents
  • Any recent School Newsletters
  • RE2/SSSP forms (secondary schools only)
  • (sufficient copies must be provided prior to the advert appearing).




  • The Selection Panel:-
  • Short-list candidates in accordance with the person specification.
  • Confirm the format of the interview process including dates, visits, information for candidates and professional interview panel arrangements.
  • All application forms will be anonymised for purposes of the short-listing. Following the completion of this process by the Governing Body Selection Panel, should it be identified that an applicant who is disabled meets the essential criteria for the post then the Panel will be advised by Education Personnel that the individual must be invited to interview.




Any decision of the Selection Panel must be taken by a vote representing an absolute majority of all members of the Panel (whether or not taking part in the vote). In the event of a split vote the Chairman of the Panel will have a casting vote.

Where considered appropriate the Selection Panel will recommend to the Full Governing Body appointment of one of the candidates.

Constructive and helpful feedback to unsuccessful candidates is a very important aspect of the process. The Director’s representative can undertake this on behalf of the Governing Body. Many candidates choose to have immediate feedback, and this should be given if requested, but it is sometimes more useful to arrange a meeting or telephone call at some other time.



Ratification Meeting

The Selection Panel recommends the appointment to the full Governing Body. The offer of appointment is ratified by the full Governing Body. (Meeting should be held immediately after the interview process).



Declaring an Interest

  • The declaration of interest by teacher or staff representatives on the governing body in the context of Headteacher and Deputy Headteacher appointments may be contentious.
  • Schools will be well aware of The Government of Maintained Schools (Wales) Regulations 2005, but it is important to remember that:
  • Teacher and staff governors do not automatically have to withdraw where their interest is no greater than the generality of the teachers in the school.
  • Teacher and staff governors are not automatically restricted from taking part in the appointment process as a member of the Selection Panel.
  • Teacher and staff governors cannot be required to withdraw as a result of any consideration of the make-up of the Selection Panel.
  • Teacher and staff governors are required to withdraw only if internal candidates are being considered, whose appointment would clearly result in a vacancy for which they could be a candidate. Such a governor could still take part in the Selection Panel if he/she has formally agreed in writing not to apply for the vacancy or to seek any other benefit arising from it.
  • Selection Panel members must declare an interest if they have or have had a connection to an applicant that may result in a later challenge to their impartiality. If there is a disagreement about whether a person is required to withdraw, it is for:-
  • The Full Governing Body to make a decision prior to the appointment of the Selection Panel.
  • The Selection Panel to make a decision once the process has commenced.



The Process

Governing Body/Director receives written resignation.

  • Full Governing Body Meeting
  • Confirm Selection Panel Membership
  • Review School ISR
  • With support from Director’s Representative(s) and Clerk to the Governing Body.
  • First Selection Panel Meeting
  • Agree Advert, Person Specification, Information Pack and Set Dates.
  • With support from the Director’s Representative(s).
  • Second Selection Panel Meeting
  • Short-listing
  • With support from the Director’s Representative(s).


With support from the Director’s Representative(s).

Ratification Meeting

Governing Body confirms appointment.