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Headteacher performance management

The duties of the governing board within a maintained school regarding head teacher appraisal can be summarised as follows:

  • Appoint an external adviser
  • Inform the headteacher of the standards against which their performance will be assessed
  • Appraise the performance of the headteacher against the relevant standards and objectives
  • Assess the headteacher’s professional development needs
  • Make a recommendation on headteacher’s pay where relevant
  • Give the headteacher a written report of their appraisal which includes assessments and recommendations

Academies are free to determine their own appraisal process and may adopt the requirements for maintained schools if they wish.The choice of an external adviser is a matter for the governing body although there is much to recommend the use of the school’s adviser. The school adviser has an ongoing relationship with the school, will have a thorough knowledge of the school, will be involved in identifying priorities, improvement planning and target setting. The intelligence gathered through these activities will enable the school adviser to give relevant and high quality advice to governing bodies.

The role of the school adviser is to provide guidance and support to governing bodies and the governing body of a maintained school is required to take external advice for the appraisal of the head teacher. The responsibility for the head teacher’s appraisal rests with the governing body of the school. There is no requirement for the governing body to accept the advice of the external adviser. There is no requirement for the external adviser to participate in any in-year monitoring of the head teacher’s performance organised by the governors.

**The NAHT, NGA and ASCL have produced this useful guidance on the appraisal process in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic. This reflects the DfE requirement for schools to; use their discretion and take pragmatic steps to adapt performance management and appraisal arrangements to take account of the current circumstances.**

Governor Services have offered the option to governing boards to purchase an adviser’s time for ½ day to include meeting and preparation. There is no expectation that additional time will be needed to write up reports, but if a school requests this, they will be charged an hourly rate. Please contact Governor Services for further information.

The Headteachers’ standards have been updated. These standards replace the national standards of excellence for headteachers 2015. They are non-statutory and intended as guidance to be interpreted in the context of each individual headteacher and school.

Headteachers are expected to uphold and demonstrate the Seven Principles of Public Life at all times. Known as the Nolan principles, these form the basis of the ethical standards expected of public office holders and are now referred to within the first part of the Headteachers’ standards. They define the behaviour and attitudes which should be expected of headteachers and all those working/volunteering within education.