Governor involvement in head's appraisal and staff recruitment

(20 Posts)
Wigeon Sat 27-Jul-13 18:16:08

Am a primary governor and just trying to figure out what's normal. If you are a governor, can I ask you:

Firstly, How many governors are involved in the head's appraisal? Annually / more often? Are they the governor(s) who are on the sub-committee which is about staffing, or any governor? Is there any report back to the main governing body?

Secondly, are governors on the interview panel for new staff? How many? And again, are they just from the relevant sub-committee, or just any governor who is free?

Thanks so much in advance for any replies - several things are concerning me about my governing body but want to work out whether I have unrealistic expectations or not!

dinnermoneyready Sat 27-Jul-13 18:31:43

There should be a Headteacher performance management panel as a separate committee. Ours has 3 governors and the governing body has to appoint an external adviser to be involved in this too. They meet once to review previous targets and set for the forthcoming year and ours meet for a half way review too.

Generally, the governing body will have delegated staff appointments to the headteacher, although there are quite often members of the governing body involved with the recruitment process at the head's request and it can in theory be any governor. The exception to this is if you need to appoint a new headteacher then it's up to the governing body to lead the process with advice from the LA - not sure about academies though.

Hope that helps!

If you are unsure about whether the school are following protocol maybe contact the LA. and ask for some advice from their governor services people?

JWIM Sat 27-Jul-13 18:48:58

OP ours is as described by dinner. The external adviser joins the annual review and setting of targets meeting - December. HT Perf Man Govs report back to full Gov Body. Chair is not on the HT Perf Man team as may have been HT sounding board during the year so possibly may not have an 'arm's length' view.

Our HT recruitment (we are very experienced!) involved a team of 5 Governors and did not include a staff member and was supported by LA and, as we are a Vol Aided Primary, Diocese.

ihearsounds Sat 27-Jul-13 18:54:19

Governing bodies will have to appoint an external adviser to advise them with appraising the headteacher.
Schools will have to have an annual appraisal process for teachers and headteachers.
The school have more freedom to write their own appraisal policy than they previously did.
The headteacher targets and objectives are set by the appointed governors, after consulting with the head and the external advisor.This is annually and part of the review process. Although the time period can be less or more depending on if new staff.

The governing body makes the appointments and should appoint governors who have undertaken performance management training and who have the appropriate skills. There is no longer any prescription as to the appointment of performance management governors, but two to three governors remains a workable number.

For appointing a new head, I think its 3 governors.. But things have changed recently. Governors can sit in on interviews for internal and external posts.. At the moment in our school its the chair, but previously it has been parent governors, depending on who was available.

ShoeWhore Sat 27-Jul-13 18:55:04

HT perf mgt as described by dinner chair plus 2 others here.

We always have a governor help with recruitment for teaching staff. Usually whoever is available and not really based on sub committee membership (the Chair of RMC is usually involved). For TAs we sometimes involve governors but sometimes HT appoints alone. Midday supervisors etc usually just the HT. School clerk was HT+govs.

nlondondad Sat 27-Jul-13 18:59:15

Ours is also as described by dinner, except we are down to just two governors at present, three would be better. However the panel is chaired by the Chair of Governors (me) as we take the view that the Chair is better informed than any other Governor as to what the Head does!

Which just shows that not all GB's work the same way in every respect, and that a certain variation is part of the system.

My basic philosophy is that the performance panel would normally follow the advice of the external advisor, while giving, when relevant, feedback to the advisor based on Governors more intimate, day to day, knowledge.

However the way the advisor works is obviously changed by the knowledge that they must justify their judgements to the panel.

Clearly the panel would have a very important role if there were a disagreement between the advisor and the Head.

lougle Sat 27-Jul-13 19:00:13

Appraisal is done by the performance management team, which is appointed yearly from the pool of Governors.

I interview quite regularly for new staff - an email goes out asking for any one who is free on the date in question. I'm able to make myself free with notice. We tend to have 1 Governor on the panel for TA staff and 2 Governors on the panel for Teachers.

Wigeon Sat 27-Jul-13 19:12:59

Thanks so much for your replies.

So, on the sample of replies so far, my school is very unusual. Only the Chair of governors seems to be involved in the head's appraisal. No report back to the main governing body, or even any verbal or informal feedback at all. When I asked the Chair about how the appraisal had worked, he said something like 'oh, it seemed to go well, the adviser seemed to really know her stuff', making it sound like he was entirely a passive observer of the process (which, knowing him, I think he probably was).

We have had two teaching staff leave this term. The Chair did email the governing body to say that two members of staff would be leaving and that the school had recruited their successors. I am not aware of any governor involvement in their recruitment.

Our Head has been at the school for many many years (over 20, nearer 30) and is clearly near retirement. When I suggested to the Chair that we should establish what her plans were for retirement (we don't even know her age, so when she might be thinking of retirement), because we should be thinking about succession planning, he got all embarrassed, and said it was a personal question!

I think the suggestion about asking the Council governor services for help is really sensible, Ethelred - I actually asked them for advice for the first time recently and they were really helpful (because three teachers, including the two leaving, confided in me that they were leaving / about to leave because they couldn't bear the management style of the dictatorial Head!).

Gosh, where do I start...?!

lougle Sat 27-Jul-13 19:27:04

I think the Chair is right about asking for plans for retirement. It could be seen to be a first step towards Constructive Dismissal, especially as the Age Discrimination laws have been brought in. Imagine if someone approached you when you were pregnant and asked for your plans because you were clearly going off to have a baby.... it's not the right thing to do. Besides that, succession planning is simply 'recruit new HT'.

The only feedback Governors would be given regarding the Performance Management of the HT would be that PM had been completed. There is a panel for a reason - to maintain confidentiality. Also, if the HT wanted to appeal his/her PM, then the rest of the Governing Body would have to know nothing, or there would be nobody unbiased who could review the decisions.

Performance Management of Teaching Staff is done by the HT/Senior Leaders Team and is confidential. Governors are given data, but not names.

It is quite acceptable for a Governing Body to delegate recruitment of teaching staff/LSAs to the Head Teacher/Senior Leadership Team. It doesn't have to be so, but it is quite acceptable. The question in this case will be what the recruitment policy is. The key is that due diligence is taken when recruiting - so safeguarding, qualification checks, rigorous interview, objective selection process, no discrimination on grounds of race, sex, sexual orientation, age, pregnancy status, dependents, etc.

Wigeon Sat 27-Jul-13 19:36:28

But we don't have a governor panel to appraise the HT, we just have the Chair, passively observing the Council adviser who does the appraisal!

I definitely don't expect to be involved in appraisal of any of the other staff; was just thinking about recruitment. I absolutely understand the need for confidentiality with staff appraisal.

On succession planning for school senior leaders, the Council governor support person is actually starting up a course on this exact topic, so I am keen that we take a slightly proactive approach to it. Eg we currently don't have enough (or any I think) governors trained in safer recruitment, and we probably wouldn't be able to get trained between the head resigning (whenever that may be) and needing to interview candidates to succeed her.

The Council person thought that a sensitive discussion about a Head's future career plans, including retirement where relevant, was a normal part of an annual appraisal - as indeed it would be with any of the staff I manage (public sector, but not education).

How can we have any idea about due diligence in staff recruitment if no governors are ever involved in recruitment? Perhaps in theory the Resources Committee (who have responsibility for staffing) oversee the relevant policies. But hard to know if the policies are being implemented if you never have anything to do with recruitment.

Sorry if I sound exasperated - not with lougle, but with the situation!

lougle Sat 27-Jul-13 19:51:57

You can do the Safer Recruitment training online here.

"The expectation is that at least the headteacher and one governor from every school have completed this training."

From that site.

If you have one Governor on the Governing Body who has the SR training, you are covered. Of course, it would be beneficial to have more than that.

On your point about recruitment - I'm not saying you are wrong. I'm saying that you should establish what the policy of your setting is first, then you will know if you want to challenge the policy or whether you need to encourage the school/Governing body to comply with an already suitable policy.

I used to clerk governing body meetings in a former life wigeon and at the helm of the governor service team was a very knowledgable officer who knew the legal and constitutional requirements for the various types of GB like the back of her hand. I would imagine someone in your local authority will be just as helpful.

lougle Sat 27-Jul-13 19:58:40

The Education (School Teachers? Appraisal) (England) Regulations 2012 set out the requirements for School Teachers' Appraisal.

You could compare your policy at the school with the Model Policy provided by the DfE.

It states "In this school the task of appraising the head teacher, including the setting of objectives, will be delegated to a sub-group consisting of two/three (delete as appropriate) members of the Governing Body."

Most schools adopt the model policy. However, they don't have to use that policy.

JWIM Sat 27-Jul-13 20:49:59

OP would suggest you encourage your Gov Body to get at least one or two Govs to do Safer Recruitment as you will need one for any HT appointment panel.

Your Gov Body will also need to consider how Perf Man of staff and salary increases are to be agreed starting Sept 2013 - automatic increment rises no longer apply and different pay terms can be agreed with staff. Govs need to know that Staff perf man has taken place and the basis for salary decisions. Our Gov Body are not happy about the extension to Govs of this responsibility and we are considering how best to meet the requirement.

admission Sun 28-Jul-13 21:03:27

Given the current emphasis on pay from Ofsted Wigeon, you need to take this further. A visit would uncover the fact that the head teacher's appraisal is being carried out contrary to the requirements. There is also a very obvious next step to what is the Individual School Range for the school and where the head teacher is being paid on the range. My suspicion with your current cosy arrangement would be probably outside of that range.
That will ensure that the Inspectors say that the GB do not the relationship between pay and performance and therefore an Ofsted rating which is inadequate beckons.

Norgasm Sun 28-Jul-13 21:29:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Wigeon Sun 28-Jul-13 22:18:32

Thanks so much for all the further replies. Lougle - those links are really helpful especially. I did know that you could do Safer Recruitment online - I just think my GB is being very passive about thinking ahead about her retirement and organising themselves. I am happy to do it online myself (as our County only provide it as a whole day course on a weekday) but I would rather we approached this strategically as a GB rather than me just doing it because I personally think it's a good idea!

admission - what exactly do you mean by saying that what's happening in my school is "contrary to the requirements"? Lougle's links seem to suggest that best practice is that two to three governors carry out the HT's appraisal, but the actual regulations don't specify number of governors. So from my reading it looks like we may be out of line with best practice, but we aren't contrary to requirements. But I am very new to all this (governor since Sept 2012) - I'd be really grateful if you could expand on what you mean.

Also, not sure what your final sentence means - think you might mean "...the GB do not assess (or link?) the relationship between pay and performance..." - would this issue alone result in an "inadequate" rating?

Would I be able to find out what the Individual School Range is and what our HT is being paid? We have a Resources committee who in theory are responsible for these matters (I am on the Curriculum committee) although I do not have very much faith that they are at all thorough in carrying out their responsibilities because the whole GB just seems so...lacklustre.

lougle Sun 28-Jul-13 22:41:38

It is now a requirement of OFSTED that GBs demonstrate that pay decisions are related to performance.

In our briefing we were told:

In a sample of 342 schools where HTs in post more than 2 years, the correlation of Head Teacher Pay progression vs school performance, measured in terms of Ofsted rating, KS2 outcomes (primary phase) or GCSE results (secondary phase) was as follows:

31% of heads received no salary progression; 58% of heads received 1 point progression; 11% of heads received 2 points progression.

However, 72% of Head Teachers in satisfactory/Requiring improvement schools/ or those below floor (e.g. less than 75% level 4 at yr 6 SATS) are still receiving progression.

To receive progression, the School Teacher Pay and Conditions Document (STPCD) says there must be “sustained high quality of performance”.

The argument put forward by our briefing team was that a failing school is unlikely to have a head teacher who fulfils that criteria, yet progression is still happening.

lougle Sun 28-Jul-13 22:44:14

Individual School Range

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