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NGA's position statement on staffing

school-environment young pupils in class reading with the teacher

In appointing the headteacher the governing board sets the scene for the leadership and management of the school. Governing boards need to be properly trained to ensure that they are equipped to make this most vital of decisions.

School structures have changed enormously over the last ten years and particularly over the last five years and especially in relation to leadership structures. In many cases legislation and some regulatory authorities have failed to keep up. New structures mean that in many cases we have executive headteachers with responsibility for more than one institution. NGA would like the next government to review references to ‘the headteacher’ in legislation and make amendments which recognise the school system as it is today.

Governing boards have a clear strategic role to play in appointments at senior leadership level (headteachers, deputy/assistant headteachers and school business manager), but all other appointments should be delegated to the headteacher.

Having set out its vision for the school, put in place a strategy of how this will be achieved and appointed a headteacher to deliver the strategy, the GB should then trust the headteacher to make other appointment decisions for the school and governors should not seek nor be routinely requested to sit on such recruitment panels.

Governors do have an important role in ensuring proper recruitment procedures are in place, so that schools recruit in an objective and transparent manner.

NGA is concerned about the shortage of high-quality applicants for senior leadership positions and particularly headships. There is also evidence of a growing shortage of teaching staff across the board.  NGA calls for the government to take affirmative action to prevent a serious staffing shortage.

With their over-arching responsibility for the financial well-being of the school, governors must ensure that there is appropriate financial expertise within the staff of the school. They should seek to appoint a properly qualified/trained business manager either on a full/part or shared basis to seek to use their finite resources in the most effective way possible.

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