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Ht Recruitment

Discussion in 'Governors' started by cornflake, Nov 11, 2018.

  1. cornflake

    cornflake Senior commenter

    Hello, just wondering whether Governors ever look at the OFSTED reports of schools when they are recruiting a HT (ie. if an application comes in from a serving head)..
    digoryvenn likes this.
  2. digoryvenn

    digoryvenn Lead commenter

    I am wondering that too!

    I would like to know from governors why they prefer to appoint a first time headteacher rather than one with some experience of the role.

    Please would some governors give us insight to these questions and unravel the mysteries of HT appointments. I want to know why governors won't appoint me.

    How are things Cornflake? I hope you are not seriously looking elsewhere.
    DaisysLot likes this.
  3. cornflake

    cornflake Senior commenter

  4. digoryvenn

    digoryvenn Lead commenter


    I assume you are an experienced head so I don't think you would have any problems if you decided to move schools.

    On reflection, I wished I had asked for redeployment instead of resigning.
    Lara mfl 05 and Marshall like this.
  5. Sundaytrekker

    Sundaytrekker Star commenter

    Yes, they do look at them. I was questioned in a final interview on the recent report I’d had (the worst as a head). My answer was along the lines of them knowing the report before asking me to interview, why bring it up now?

    Sometimes governors think a new head can be appointed cheaper and would be more malleable than an experienced head.
    digoryvenn and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  6. cornflake

    cornflake Senior commenter

    sundaytrekker: did you get the job? And how much do you think the report affected that?
    digoryvenn and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  7. welshwales

    welshwales Occasional commenter

    Hmm.this is a post that would very much interest me too. As a school in RI, but feeling it's time to move on..I'm stuck feeling that no-one would take an application seriously until I can move the school to Good- which may be decided as we are overdue our next Section 5
    digoryvenn likes this.
  8. Sundaytrekker

    Sundaytrekker Star commenter

    No, I didn’t. They appointed the deputy who was a good chap, cheaper and saved them a budget problem as they moved from a middle school to junior school structure. So I think the report question wasn’t the real issue. I got the next job about a month or two later with that as my most recent report. I had three good reports following that move- mentioned only to try to show governors that it isn’t a prediction for future reports.
    cornflake and digoryvenn like this.
  9. digoryvenn

    digoryvenn Lead commenter

    What about references?
    How much weight do they give to them when deciding who to appoint?
    DaisysLot likes this.
  10. Sundaytrekker

    Sundaytrekker Star commenter

    I knew of one where the LA reference said they would not recommend and would not support if appointed. This was an existing head. Otherwise, I think it’s matching what is said to the job spec and ensuring safeguarding is met.
    digoryvenn likes this.
  11. digoryvenn

    digoryvenn Lead commenter

    Gosh, that poor head!
    Yes, I see what you mean.
  12. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    As a governor I was once on the appointment panel for a Primary head. One candidate was a DHT from outside our LA. His current head's reference read simply "This man is wholly unsuited to headship and I strongly recommend you do not appoint him".

    A conclusion we had already arrived during the interview day....
  13. digoryvenn

    digoryvenn Lead commenter

    Wow! What a reference!

    Rott, please can I ask how did the candidate act in order for you to arrive at that conclusion?

    What are governors looking for in a candidate?
  14. DaisysLot

    DaisysLot Senior commenter

    As chair of govs at a primary school, i took much the mantle on the recruitment and selection process last spring.

    Didn't realise it was quite such a mystery to applicants.... But when I get a mo, I shall put up all the docs I have pertaining to the scored selection tasks we used. Obviously these were designed with the specific remit of the candidate required for this specific school at this specific time, but maybe useful to you fine folk.
    digoryvenn likes this.
  15. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    @digoryvenn I don't recall exactly what the candidate did at interview, it was over 20 years ago. I do remember at one point we had a group exercise with all the candidates working as a team on some issue. We didn't appoint a group leader. He sat down and appointed himself "leader" with no discussion and proceeded to tell the group he was by far the most experienced and best qualified to know the answer (he wasn't!) and then talked over everyone else's contribution and tried to present his "solution" (which wasn't very good) as the group answer at the report back to the governors panel and our advisers. (The rest of the group politely disagreed with him....).
    Sundaytrekker and digoryvenn like this.
  16. digoryvenn

    digoryvenn Lead commenter

    Thank you Rott Weiler, a very illuminating insight.

    Thank you DaisysLot.

    I think it is a case of candidates are on the outside looking in and governors are on the inside looking out. If I can understand the governor point of view then I may be more successful at interview.
  17. cornflake

    cornflake Senior commenter

    It's interesting (to me) to see that I'm not alone as an RI HT wondering how on earth I can move on to a new school...

    There is a part of me that accepts I have been unable to shift the place as far as it needs to go, and so the school needs someone new. On the other hand, we've faced unimaginable challenges too - so I don't feel that I have failed as a HT - and just want to try it somewhere else!
    welshwales likes this.
  18. digoryvenn

    digoryvenn Lead commenter

    You definitely have not failed as a HT. You have valuable experience in dealing with challenges and difficult circumstances which I think will make you very employable.
  19. ViolaClef

    ViolaClef Lead commenter

    The appointing of a Head by governors is a very interesting issue. Much may depend upon how knowledgeable and involved the governors are regarding the school and the fact that there may not actually be anyone from an education background among them — or maybe only one or two. It seems bizarre that such an important decision rests with a group of people who may never have worked in a school or any other educational setting. Some governors may be keen to learn and listen (to staff, parents etc.) but I’ve worked at schools where spotting a governor in the building is like spotting a rare species. And having one actually speak to you - well, pigs might fly.
    I am sure some governors are extremely conscientious, keen to do the best they can for a school and willing to give up their precious time to help; but others I wouldn’t trust to employ a reliable plumber to fix a tap, let alone a Head to run a school.
    digoryvenn likes this.
  20. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Star commenter

    Is all this a way of dancing round the basic question all interview panels have to answer?
    "Of this lot how can we pick the best one?"​
    In my few interviews it's been clear that the panel is struggling with me or nobody (and sometimes It's close) but that's because I'm half-decent and can cope with bottom-end schools who can't attract anyone.

    But if there are 5 or more capable candidates then anything that can vaguely tell them apart is to be welcomed and over-dissected, just be thankful that using gender, skin colour or number of working limbs as a criterion is no longer allowed.

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