There is considerable evidence that effective leadership is the key indicator for a successful school or trust, and so recruiting the right senior executive leader is possibly the most important decision a board will make.
Why should a board seek support when recruiting a new senior executive leader?
As this process is something most governors will not have much experience in, it’s becoming increasingly more popular for boards to engage with recruitment consultants to conduct this for them.
Although recruitment consultants offer a wide ranging service, they tend not to offer the specific support the board needs to prepare for the process e.g. reviewing their vision for the school and ensuring that governors or trustees are properly trained and appointed. This is the service that NGA offers.
Additionally, the recruitment process is an aspect of governance where governors and trustees have to become operational. As most are volunteers with other demands on their time, engaging a consultant to help manage the process can be hugely beneficial.
Another element to consider is that the local authority or academy trust may not have the resources to support governors or trustees through the process and even if they do, governors or trustees may wish to ensure an independent view is available to them.
Recruitment of the school or trust’s leader and figurehead may be a sensitive time and having an external consultant can ensure that the process remains professional and focused on the outcome of securing an effective leader who can deliver the governing board’s vision and strategy.
What support can NGA offer?
The support package for governing boards typically consists of:
A meeting or phone conference with the chair and other key players to:
- Build a picture of the school or trust, its context and any challenges that lie ahead
- Understand the board’s ambitions and vision for the school or trust for the next three to five years If the board does not have a clear vision then a session on creating a new vision will be recommended.
Work with the governors or trustees to establish the skills and characteristics the new senior executive leader will need in order to deliver the board’s vision, and how this will shape the advertisement, job description, person specification and application pack.
Advice on the recruitment process including advice on shortlisting, and support in the design of activities for the final selection, plus support on the day.
It’s important to note that NGA is not a recruitment agency and does not offer to market the school, to design or place adverts, to head hunt, or to conduct screening prior to long or short listing. However, consultants are very happy to work alongside recruitment agencies, guiding governors and trustees through the options that the agency will offer.
NGA has a team of consultants who are properly recruited, inducted and quality assured. A number are experienced in recruitment and understand the pressures and the pitfalls. In agreeing to support a board through the process, consultants will endeavour to give as much support as is commissioned, other commitments permitting.
These are determined on a case by case basis depending on the level of support commissioned.