Changes to headteacher recruitment

In December 2017, the DfE published new guidance entitled ‘Recruiting a headteacher’. It replaces the previous guidance entitled ‘A guide to recruiting and selecting a new headteacher’ published in 2012.

In summary, the new guide expands on the guidance given previously and includes some new sections. It follows a clearer structure by going through the recruitment process in chronological order.

The new guide also makes it clear that it applies to academies as well as maintained schools, for example by clearly separating the provisions relating to maintained schools and academies, and emphasising where academies have more freedom in the recruitment process.

The new guide has sections which were not included previously, such as:

  • The overarching recruitment principles, such as a fair and open process, unconscious bias, and flexible working arrangements;
  • Setting up a selection panel (this will be particularly relevant for maintained schools);
  • How to select for a job-share; and
  • Post-recruitment action.

The new guide has expanded on the following sections:

  • The law in this area.
  • Appointment action, in particular a section highlighting the requirement to carry out pre-appointment checks;
  • How to advertise the post;
  • The selection process; and
  • A remuneration advice section, which sets out how to determine an appropriate salary, outlining the differences between maintained schools and academies.

It seems that the previous guide adopted a ‘what not to do’ approach (such as including the ‘common pitfalls to avoid’ section which is no longer included) whereas the new guide follows a ‘what to do’ approach. This may be of more use to schools.

In summary, the new guide is quite different to the previous version. It will be important to adhere to the new version (which should at least be easier to follow).

Should you wish to learn more, our HR Consultancy team regularly deliver seminars on Recruitment and Effective Induction, please see our events page for upcoming dates.

This seminar will provide you with essential information on how to improve your recruitment and induction process. We will also focus on why this is so essential within your HR Strategy.

The law and practice referred to in this article has been paraphrased or summarised. It might not be up-to-date with changes in the law and we do not guarantee the accuracy of any information provided at the time of reading. It should not be construed or relied upon as legal advice in relation to a specific set of circumstances.

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