Governance and leadership matters; @japenn56 and I are off to @WomenEd Residential!

It’s not long now till the #WomenEd Residential. My very good friend Jo and I are facilitating a session around governance and leadership. Our session is titled, “All you wanted to know about the Governing Body’s role in the application process but didn’t know who to ask!”

Governors are responsible for Headteacher appointments and we are also involved in appointing SLT members. The appointment of heads is arguably the most important duty governors would ever perform. As governors it is our duty to appoint the best candidate, one who is best suited to our school and is able to take it forward. Governors need to be clear about their vision for their school and their students and be able to identify a candidate who shares that vision and can develop it and take it further.

Jo and I are aware that many of the people attending the Residential will have lots of questions about the whole process. You would perhaps want to know how the governing body decides how to advertise the post, what do we look for in potential candidates, how do we short list, what happens during the interview etc. We are also aware that many of the people attending the conference may not know much about the work of governing bodies. Unless you attend governing body meetings at your school or are a staff governor you may not have had much to do with governors. You may wonder why “volunteers” who may not be educators get to appoint heads. These are some of the questions you may feel you can’t ask your governors. This is where we come in. Both Jo and I have been involved in the head recruitment process. Jo has served as Chair of Governors and is a National leader of Governance. I am the Vice Chair of the Board. Our aim for this session is to demystify the whole process. There will also be an opportunity for you to ask us questions. Please feel free to ask us anything and we will try our best to answer your questions.

Further details of the Residential can be seen below. Tickets can be booked through Eventbrite. Don’t leave it too late!


2 thoughts on “Governance and leadership matters; @japenn56 and I are off to @WomenEd Residential!

  1. George Stevens

    One thing I’d recommend after our governing body recruited an exec head last year is proper interview training. We did ours via LA, who supplied deputy heads who were considering moving up (but not yet) so we had realistic mock candidates (who then fed back on how we did), with real CVs, real action plans based on our school, etc. Mock candidates got some useful practice, as did we – win/win.
    A *really* useful exercise, especially to get governors to really dig deep and keep probing – rather than being too nice (which they were on mock ones).

    Second point I hope you’ll make is sometimes governors will not appoint. And if they are brave enough to make that call – then it’s the right decision. And that is brave, because the easy option would be to appoint someone who’d “probably” be good enough.

    1. governingmatters Post author

      Thank you, George. Two valuable points. Our LA runs courses on head recruitment but a mock exercise, like you suggest, is a very good idea. And yes, not appointing is the correct decision if the candidates aren’t right for that school at that time. I shall add this to my notes and Jo and I will touch upon it.


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