09 Sep Updated Headteacher Recruitment module now available
Janis Maloney is the subject matter expert for the revised and updated Modern Governor module on Headteacher Recruitment. She has been a fellow of the CIPD since 1998. She is also an accredited and experienced Safer Recruitment trainer and worked in a schools’ traded HR service from 2004-2015, managing the delivery of that service as the senior Schools’ HR professional for Cheshire West and Chester (CWAC) from 2009-2015. She now delivers training as an Associate with the RMA Governance.
The immediate feelings of most governing boards when faced with the resignation of their head teacher tend to be a mixture of despair and anxiety at losing the (or at least a) key member of staff. In my experience however this really is one of these situations where a challenge is usually a great opportunity, but it takes good preparation.
Recruiting a new head isn’t something that many governors or trustees will undertake more than once during their terms of office – and indeed many governors and trustees may have no experience of staff recruitment whatsoever, and yet appointing a new headteacher is one of the most important decisions a governing body will make. This decision will have long term and lasting impact on school and a governing body’s ability to implement its strategic vision. So, training and support are vital.
Preparing to deal with a headteacher vacancy may seem a low priority if no such vacancy looks likely to arise, but completion of this new module will give governors and trustees an overview of the process which will help them understand issues such as the timing of adverts; how long the process might take, safeguarding issues and, most importantly, what skills the governing board already has and what support they will need. Having assessed these from the secure position of having a serving head will help bring a level of preparedness and professionalism to the process, the lack of which is generally regarded as the biggest weakness currently seen in headteacher recruitment.
The module enables schools to consider their needs in relation to succession planning and management development – another recognised weakness within the schools sector. Throughout its sections the module guides schools to consider
- where is our school going?
- what does the job of headteacher look like?
- what personal qualities do we need from our head?
- how big is this job?
- what support do we need to make the best appointment we can?
In common with all Modern Governor modules, once they’ve finished governors are able to download a personalised certificate in PDF format as evidence of completion of the module. On request representatives from a local authority, diocese, academy trust or chain, or if required the school’s development governor can easily run an online report showing detailed course enrolment and completion statistics by governors from a school, academy or (with appropriate permissions) across a trust, chain, diocese or local authority.
The Core Skills Questioning techniques module is a useful complement to this module for subscribers to Modern Governor. This module is available now to subscribers to the Modern Governor service along with nearly fifty other modules including all of the already-released and forthcoming Modern Governor Core Skills modules. Any subscriber who logs in is immediately able to enrol on and complete any module, including this newly updated one. If you’d like to have full access to five of the mobile friendly modules then simply sign up for the free, no-obligation, 30 day trial or contact Modern Governor to find out subscription rates for your school, academy, MAT, federation or local authority.
Questions for your governing board
- Have we an idea of how long our current headteacher is planning on remaining in post? Have we asked him or her?
- Do we buy in HR support from our local authority? If not, is any available through our MAT?
- If we are considering joining a MAT, are we clear of how the processes of school leader recruitment work in that organisation?
- Have members of our governing body undergone Safer Recruitment training?
- Have the school’s last recruitment processes for senior posts been documented? What, if any, lessons did the school learn from them?
- What experience do members of our governing body have in being involved in recruitment processes outside of school?