Board of Education
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Head teacher appraisal




Guidance for Governors in undertaking head teacher appraisal (updated January 2019)

 It is a statutory duty of the governing body to evaluate the performance of the head teacher on a yearly basis. It is recommended that governors employ the services of an external advisor to support this process. The Diocese has a number of trained and experienced associate consultants that can be commissioned to undertake this support.


The recommendation is that meetings take place early in the autumn term although some panels/head teachers prefer to review the previous year’s objectives at the end of the summer term.

There should be a governors’ panel of 3 people, excluding the associate. The process should not be undertaken with less than 2 people.

The associate will be responsible for recording discussions and outcomes during the meeting and writing this up and circulating to the panel afterwards. A proforma will be supplied for this purpose and governors are recommended to use this


Once commissioned, the associate will request the following documentation from the head teacher at least one week before the meeting:

  • The school’s pay policy
  • Full evidence of achievement of objectives against the criteria for the previous objectives. This could include the SEF, school plan and will certainly include data (ASP, Data Dashboard/ISDR and schools own data analysis)

The associate will send the latest pay and conditions document to the headteacher and governor panel as well as the form that will be used during the process (attached)

Governors will need to be familiar with the school’s pay policy and the latest school teachers pay and conditions document.

A brief data analysis will need to be undertaken by the associate. This may suggest future targets for discussion.

The evidence from the head teacher must be scrutinised by the governor panel and advisor prior to the meeting

Review Meeting:

The following format is suggested:

  1. Meeting with the head teacher and associate where the head teacher will be asked if they feel they have achieved their objectives and why. Evidence will be discussed
  2. Meeting with the governor’s panel (without the head teacher). The panel need to discuss their evaluation of the evidence with the associate and come to a decision about whether the objectives have been achieved. Objectives cannot be partially achieved – they are either met or not met. If necessary, a narrative can be added afterwards to explain if objectives are partially met or why they have not been met. The associate will record on the documentation clearly if objectives are met or not met. The overall performance of the head teacher will also be discussed, taking into account any significant events such as a recent Ofsted or SIAMs inspection for example
  3. Meeting with all concerned where the panel will explain to the head teacher it’s decision on the objectives and about any agreed pay increase recommendation. New objectives will be set in this meeting and recorded (see guidance about objectives below)

A date for a mid-year review must be set and a written record of those mid-year review discussions kept. The associate is not needed for this meeting but could be commissioned separately if the governors wish.

The documentation will be written up by the associate and circulated to ensure that it is accurate and agreed by all. This will be kept in the head teacher’s personnel file.

The chair of the review panel must write to the headteacher separately stating any pay increase awarded with the reasons for this. Likewise, if no award has been awarded, this must also be explained. The associate does not need to be involved in this or copied into this.


This is the governor’s responsibility not the external adviser’s.

Governors must refer to the school’s own pay policy and the latest pay and conditions document. They must be familiar with this before the meeting. They need to adhere to these criteria and this must be the same as the criteria applied to teachers in the school.

The school’s pay policy must state what the procedure is if the head teacher (or a member of staff) wants to challenge a decision.

The increase will now be a figure rather than a scale point although some schools have retained the old scale points in their policy as a guide

A headteacher has only achieved his/her objectives if there is evidence of ‘sustained, high quality impact’ and only then can a pay award be considered.

Schools can defer a payment (for example where a school is waiting for validation from Ofsted)

Any pay increase must also be in line with the school’s 3 year budget plan

Pupil weighted numbers provide guidance to the school’s pay range – the reference point always remains the number of pupils on roll.

Retention and recruitment points no longer exist. There is the 25% rule (see document) but this is not a one off payment – head teachers keep this.

Pay can only be increased through looking at the objective criteria – not because a head teacher has been there a long time.

Pay is back-dated to September

If the associate feels that an inappropriate decision has been made regarding pay, they should inform the Lead Associate who may discuss with the Director of Education for the Diocese. The panel will be informed if this will happen.

Guidance on objectives:

Objectives must be robust and related to the school’s priorities as stated in the school plan. They must impact on pupils’ achievement. They must link to the objectives that teachers have or that will be set.

Objectives must be measurable. The associate can give examples of suitable objectives

Additional guidance:

If the scenario has an executive head and heads of school, the executive head teacher needs to be appraised first. It is recommended that the same associate also supports the appraisal of the heads of school if it is decided that the governors want an associate for this process.

SIAMs must form part of this process. Panel members need to be familiar with the recommendations from the most recent SIAMs report. If there are recommendations in a recent report about leadership, these must be factored into the objective setting process. Governors should consider setting explicit SIAMs objectives that have measurable outcomes.


The support will be charged according to the ‘pay as you use’ criteria which is currently £475 + VAT per day for schools buying into the SLA and £575 + VAT for schools who do not. It is expected that if the whole process is undertaken it should take 1 day. For new head teachers who just need objectives set, it will take approximately half a day.

Further documentation to be considered: