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Headteacher and deputy headteacher recruitment, including interim appointments

Appointing a new headteacher is probably the most important task that a governing board undertakes. There is a considerable body of evidence indicating that the quality of a school’s headteacher is the single most significant factor in its success.

If a school has a deputy headteacher, their appointment is also the responsibility of the governing board.

It is considered good practice to be supported through the process by a third party.

In Gloucestershire, advice and support can be purchased from the local authority’s school (LA), see information below.

For voluntary aided (VA) and voluntary controlled (VC) schools, the Church of England Diocesan Board of Education provide support and guidance and, in the case of Catholic schools a representative from the Diocesan Department for Schools and Colleges must always be invited. 


The legal framework

The legal framework regarding the appointment of a headteacher, and the roles and responsibilities of the parties involved, is laid down in the Staffing Regulations, (see link below).

Governing Boards must inform the LA (by emailing of any headteacher or deputy headteacher vacancy.

Local authorities are entitled to make written representations to the selection panel if they consider that the panel is shortlisting an unsuitable person as headteacher.

In the unlikely circumstances of the local authority having serious concerns about a shortlisting decision, these concerns may be raised with the chair of governors, who should respond in writing. The Diocesan office performs a similar role on behalf of the Bishop.

A representative of the local authority may sit in on the final interview.

The full governing board makes the appointment decision but is required to consider the advice of the representatives.

In the case of community and voluntary controlled schools, the LA is required to confirm the appointment in writing and will comply with the governors’ recommendation unless they fail the relevant employment checks.


LA support

Support for headteacher and deputy headteacher recruitment is included in both levels of GLOSSI subscription. 

Schools who have not purchased a GLOSSI subscription can purchase support for headteacher or deputy headteacher recruitment as a ‘standalone’ package.  This can either be simply for administrative support or for the full range of support as listed below:

  • access to checklists and documentation to support the process,
  • an adviser to guide the governing board through each stage of the appointment process, such as setting criteria for selection, developing the interview process and questions, shortlisting, involvement in interview tasks, making an appropriate appointment and assisting in debriefing unsuccessful candidates,
  • telephone help and online support,
  • practical support for the organisation of all meetings, including ensuring compliance with appointment procedures, managing all correspondence and paperwork, and arranging advertisements and receipt of applications,
  • additional support from the LA’s HR team to ensure compliance with current legislation and advice on employment or procedural matters as requested.

To purchase a GLOSSI package go to Gloucestershire School Improvement | Business Support Services

To purchase the standalone headteacher or deputy headteacher recruitment package go to: Governor Services | Business Support Services


Job vacancies

For a current list of vacancies for headteachers within the County go to Job Vacancies for Gloucestershire Schools


Useful links and documents

Guidance/DfE documents


Safer recruitment training

Link to Gloucestershire Safeguarding Children Board: Safer recruitment training


Useful contacts

Gloucestershire County Council                 

Governor Services, Shire Hall, Westgate Street, Gloucester, GL1 2TP


Telephone: 01452 427802


Church of England Diocese                          

Joanna Hunter, Diocesan Deputy Director of Education

Diocesan Board of Education, 4 College Green, Gloucester, GL1 2LR


Telephone: 01452 835574


Clifton Catholic Diocese                              

Mary Cox, Director of Schools and Colleges

Clifton Diocese, Alexander House, 160 Pennywell Road, Bristol, BS5 0TX


Telephone: 0117 9025599

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