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School effectiveness

Headteacher induction and appraisal

Headteacher induction and appraisal – the role of the board

Following the successful appointment of a new headteacher it is the responsibility of the governing board to plan and implement an induction programme. The induction programme will support the new headteacher as they prepare to take up post and during, at least, their first year. Induction is the process of preparing a new headteacher for their role in the context of their school. Even an experienced headteacher moving to a new school or someone stepping up to headship internally will require the opportunities provided by a planned induction programme.
The board is responsible for ensuring that the headteacher has dedicated headship time within the school sessions. It is important that governors of schools where headteachers have a significantly heavy teaching commitment or higher-than-average management responsibility ensure that they play an active role in monitoring the use of this time. This is particularly significant in the case of small schools where the teaching workload of the headteacher can become inappropriate when balanced against the demands of their leadership time. Issues relating to time and budget are not appropriate reasons for lack of provision of this statutory requirement.

Induction governor or trustee

It is recommended that a governor or trustee is nominated to oversee the new headteacher’s induction. Ideally this should be someone other than the chair; and a governor or trustee who will be involved in the headteacher’s performance management.

Responsibilities of the induction governor or trustee are to ensure that:

  • The new headteacher has regular meetings with the induction governor or trustee (once each half-term would be appropriate) to review and if necessary amend the induction programme or discuss and address any concerns
  • An appropriate budget is identified to support effective induction
  • The headteacher has access to the leadership and management time, dedicated headship time and PPA as appropriate for their role
  • That mandatory training, for example in Safer Recruitment and Child Protection is planned and undertaken
  • The headteacher is networking with local schools, community bodies and wider partnerships
  • Performance management objectives for the headteacher are in place and the induction programme is addressing professional development needs
  • Consideration is given to the work-life balance of the new headteacher
  • The governing board receives a termly report on the new headteacher’s induction.

Subscribing schools can download our guidance on headteacher appraisal from the governance microsite.