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Overinvolved LA at HT interview?

Discussion in 'Governors' started by WineOClockYet, Jan 28, 2016.

  1. WineOClockYet

    WineOClockYet New commenter

    We have just interviewed for a new head in a small primary. I am a new chair and it was my first time recruitilng for a Head. I'm confident that I ked the process faily, and to a high standard. We did appoint at the end of the process.

    My niggle is this: on the afternoon before interview day an email from lea mentioned a senior member of their team would be arriving part way through the day. In trying to unravel it we gained the impression that they were arriving to replace their colleague who had to leave at lunchtime. This turned out not to be so. They settled in to the intreview part of the day, adding to what was already an uncomfortably sized panel. I already had concerns that the panel had 7 people on it: 4 governors (all necessart imo), 1 diocese, 1 educational advisor. By joining in on that day this extra person made a panel of 7! Quite rightly, the candiates were nervous, and one of them in particular could have had a far better selection process had this not been the case. I queried politely twice during the day about the extra person's presence and was told twice it was standard for someone from their team to be present.

    I am a diplomatic and polite person. I want to find out WHY there were two of them from the lea. And why they advise gov bodies to keep panel's moderate in size and then make it bigger themselves by turning up al ost unannounced!! This is clearly a learning curve for me. I am cross with myself for not seeing the bigger picture on the day and being firmer about their presence there.

    I'd be grateful for your thoughts/experience. Is it common for two lea to turn up? If not, any thoughts on how/whether I should address it now?
  2. WineOClockYet

    WineOClockYet New commenter

    Excuse typos
  3. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    Having 7 people present doesn't sound excessive to me although my LA makes do with one representative not two, especially if you had a Diocesan advisor too. I would expect candidates for headship to know that they would be interviewed by a panel. Incidentally, although you refer to them all as the panel, the advisers aren't part of the selection panel and shouldn't be one of the decision-makers. Only the 4 governors are the panel and make the decision. Sounds like you had a selection panel of 4 with 3 advisers. The real question though isn't how many advisers but was their advice valuable?

    As you have correctly commented, you don't have to have any of them their if you don't want them, although most GBs are grateful for the advice and support of their LA in making this important decision.

    Pleased that you made an appointment - many small schools struggle to attract strong candidates - and good luck!
  4. WineOClockYet

    WineOClockYet New commenter

    Thank you for your reply, Rott Weiler.

    Yes, we are pleased we managed to recruit. We had more applications than we expected, especially as last time we recruited the response was poor. And we won't even mention how difficult it is to attract class teacher applications!

    I'm glad to hear you didn't think it sounded too unusual. Despite my clumsy and rushed description in my op, I think my concerns are the odd and impolite way it was carried out (turning up practically unannounced and unexplained), and a niggle that we were being 'steered'.
  5. pourquoi

    pourquoi New commenter

    I think the LA may have advisory rights if you are a VC school (or indeed a community school, but the diocesan interest precludes that) They can attend the process and can refuse to support the appointment of a candidate they believe to be wholly unsuitable for the post. They should otherwise allow the panel of governors to arrive at the decision that feels right for them.

    I agree that they could have handled it better but am also glad you were able to appoint - it's tough out there for small schools (any schools!) at the moment.

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