June 2016

The know zone

  • Time for sensitivity
    Heather Mitchell explores the key issues schools and colleges should consider carefully when managing redundancies and restructuring. More
  • Show business matters
    The evolution of school business leaders is well documented but anomalies remain when it comes to pay, a situation that’s inequitable, uncertain and lacking consistency of approach, says Val Andrew. More
  • Don't panic!
    Julie McCulloch looks at three proposals in the new White Paper, Educational Excellence Everywhere, that have particular implications for primary schools. More
  • What attracted to teaching?
    Why did you decide to get into teaching and is it something that you always wanted to do? Has it lived up to your expectations? Here, ASCL members share their views… More
  • Make the right choice
    Looking for a new leader? ASCL’s Leadership Appointment Service can provide an experienced head to help at every stage of the process. More
  • The final act?
    Working in education has elements of farce, but could turn into a tragedy, according to former head-turned consultant and playwright Peter Campling. More
  • Leaders' surgery
    Hotline advice expressed here, and in calls to us, is made in good faith to our members. Schools and colleges should always take formal HR or legal advice from their indemnified provider before acting. More
  • Doing justice to learning
    The National Centre for Citizenship and the Law (NCCL) delivers hands-on education workshops in courtrooms across the UK by providing a unique learning experience. More
Bookmark and Share

Looking for a new leader? ASCL’s Leadership Appointment Service can provide an experienced head to help at every stage of the process.

Make the right choice

For headteachers and principals, moving on from a post to pastures new can be exciting but can engender other emotions, too. Whether you’re retiring or taking up a new position, you will be preparing to give up a role you may well have devoted many years to. Your governors, meanwhile, must start the search for your successor.

At such times, the school business manager is often asked to find some support for the appointment process and may be unsure where to turn.

The ASCL Leadership Appointment Service was designed so that you can be confident the appointment will be handled professionally with a consultant who was, or is still, a successful head or principal themselves and who really understands the job from the inside. In the last year alone we have helped a substantial number of schools and colleges to appoint a new headteacher or principal, working with governor panels to make sure they follow best practice and they attract and recruit the most suitable candidates.

All consultants have been trained and have professional support; they can draw on an enormous range of resources to assist the panel and can access legal advice if needed. It means there is no need to employ anyone else; the consultant will ensure the process is transparent and complies with legal requirements with no mistakes made.

‘Rolls-Royce service’

As with all ASCL consultancies, each process is evaluated by the school or college at the end and comments are generally extremely supportive with letters of appreciation being frequently sent to the consultant. Comments in the last few months include:

‘It’s the Rolls-Royce service’

Business manager, Gloucestershire

‘Just thought I would say a personal thank-you for the professional support given to the governors’ selection panel… I am totally satisfied with our choice and much credit is yours for the guidance.’

Panel member, Lancashire

‘Your work exceeded [the panel’s] expectations of the role… How grateful they were for your professionalism and sheer hard work. They appreciated the guidance they received in the short-listing meetings, in preparing them for their panels, and on the final day. As a result of your efforts the appointment process was very rigorous and over the three days the candidates were challenged to show they were the right person to lead the school.’ 

Clerk to the governors,West Yorkshire

‘The value of a three-day process was evidenced by the journey we went on to arrive at our decision. You were certainly spot on in terms of, each day, seeing something new and different in the candidates, right up to the third day of interviews. I must also add that your professionalism, challenge, and above all, sense of humour added greatly to the process.’

Chair of governors, Hertfordshire

Inclusive service

We offer an inclusive service, in which the ASCL leadership appointment specialist will:

  • make an initial presentation to the governing body at no cost or obligation
  • provide procedural and legal advice
  • assist with the drafting of the job and person specification particular to the post, incorporating the views of governors, ensuring that the ethos and values of the school are identified
  • help to identify the criteria for appointment
  • construct a practical timeline for the process that fits the panel’s commitments
  • give advice on advertising and referencing techniques
  • assist with the scrutiny and assessment of applications
  • offer advice on long-listing and short-listing, with optional training offered for the panel
  • make recommendations for assessment procedures
  • help to prepare a bespoke programme for the interview and selection process and assist throughout, providing and marking exercises as required for the candidates
  • provide a comprehensive set of interview questions from which the panel can choose and advise on specific topics to be explored
  • advise governors on the final selection process
  • give feedback to candidates

As the comments show, governors find the selection process fair and thorough and at the same time, enjoyable; the hard work is taken care of and the consultants are so good at what they do.

Once the appointment has been made, the support we can offer does not end there; we also provide an induction package for newly appointed heads and can provide performance management professional advice.

If you are about to make that decision, this might be a good time to contact us about the service. To find out more call us on 0116 2991122 or email las@ascl.org.uk to discuss your needs directly.

Pauline Thomas is the co-ordinator of the ASCL Leadership Appointment Service