Headteacher appraisal

Headteacher appraisal 2023

It is a statutory responsibility of governing boards in maintained schools to ensure that they set objectives for the headteacher as part of an annual appraisal. Academies can also adopt the process as appropriate for headteacher appraisal and this needs to be documented in the school’s appraisal policy.

The headteacher appraisal is usually carried out by an appraisal review committee/panel of two or three governors with an external adviser being used for advice, support and to consult with regarding appropriate objectives.

The guidance remains generally the same as in previous years but the governor appraisal review committee / panel should still take into account Teacher appraisal and capability: model policy - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) from the DfE on performance management and pay progression::

The DfE guidance states:

"Schools must ensure that teachers are not penalised during the appraisal process or in respect of any subsequent pay progression, resulting from restricted pupil attendance at schools and which may have had an impact on the ability of the teacher to fully meet their objectives, including where linked to pay progression."

For headteachers, the 2022/23 review the panel should look at overall performance and, ‘use their discretion and take pragmatic steps to adapt performance management and appraisal arrangements to take account of the current circumstances’.

For 2023/24, we continue to advise against objectives that set targets for the ‘catch-up’ of individual pupils or groups or are based on measures related to performance tables and accountability measures, including Ofsted grades.

The focus of schools should be to support a sustained, positive and productive engagement of pupils, with a strong emphasis on the well-being of pupils and staff.

Overall, the approach to performance management and appraisal should remain flexible.

Ealing schools can still use an Ealing adviser. For more information or to book an adviser please contact ELP@ealing.gov.uk.

Role of the headteacher appraisal panel

  • Set objectives for the headteacher
  • Appraise the performance of the headteacher, assessing their performance in the role against the headteacher standards 2020 (GOV.UK website) and their performance objectives.
  • Assess the headteacher’s professional development needs and the actions needed to address them
  • Make a recommendation on a headteacher’s pay progression, where relevant. This must be done by 31 December
  • Give the headteacher a written report of his/her appraisal, which include assessments and the decision on pay
  • Determine the appraisal period that applies. In most cases this will be 12 months, unless the headteacher is employed on a shorter fixed-term contract
  • Set objectives which will contribute to improving the education of pupils

Details on the headteacher appraisal process can be found in the DfE governance handbook (section 6.6.6)

Useful documents

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Appraisal of co-headteachers

Appraisal arrangements for co-headteachers should apply on the same basis for full-time staff and part-time staff and job-sharers. The purpose of this is to ensure that both part-time and full-time staff have equivalent and fair access to developmental support and feedback.

Executive headteacher appraisal

If a headteacher is employed at more than one school, each governing body must ensure that appraisal arrangements are put in place for the time they spend at their school.

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Last updated: 24 Apr 2024

Human resources