Headteacher recruitment

The privilege and responsibility for the appointment of a Headteacher rests with the Governing Body

The Governance Board of a Church of England School has from time to time the privilege and responsibility for appointing a Headteacher and a Deputy Headteacher.

Diocesan Support

The Diocesan Board of Education recognises that the appointment of a Headteacher, Deputy Headteacher or Head of School is probably the most vital decision a Governance Board must make. It is essential that the Diocesan Director of Education or their representative i.e., the Diocesan Adviser linked to the school, attend to support and offer advice throughout the whole selection process and as soon as possible following a resignation or establishment of a new post.

Multi-Academy Trusts will have their own processes which most likely will include representatives of the local governance board or similar. The Diocese should also be included to provide advice and support throughout the process.

Headteacher Recruitment Guidance

The guidance in this document is offered to help you through the process of recruiting and appointing a new Headteacher*. It is based upon experience and the good practice demonstrated in the eight local authorities covering the Diocese of Chelmsford.

It provides an outline step by step guide, a possible timeline, support in drafting adverts, interview questions, ideas for interview tasks and many more useful documents. For further advice please contact your linked School Adviser.

Download Headteacher Recruitment Guidance Pack

* this all applies throughout to the recruitment of other senior leaders such as Deputy Head, Head of School.

The Church of England Vision for Education of being ‘deeply Christian, serving the common good’ provides the guiding vision and purpose of all its schools and therefore needs to be at the heart of any appointment process.

It follows that engaging in such a process would involve prayer and suggestions are included.

Women sitting and talking

Model documentation

Model documents provided are intended to be a guide and should be adapted to the school’s context as the Panel sees fit.

Job Descriptions and Person Specifications should not be used in their entirety as it is not possible or desirable to short list against such a large number of criteria, bearing in mind that supporting statements are usually limited to 3 sides of A4 maximum.

Each Local Authority has its own preferred models and Advisers, or HR personnel will be able to supply further examples. Please be aware that Job Descriptions and Person Specifications provided by the LA do not contain elements specifically suited to church schools and therefore the Diocese strongly recommends the models provided.

Appendix 1 - Church School advertisement statements

Appendix 1 includes:

  • Model 1 (Maintained School)
  • Model 2 (School in a MAT)
  • Model 3 (Aiming to recruit a committed Christian)
  • Model 4 (School wanting to develop Christian distinctiveness)
  • Model 5 (School wanting to maintain or improve Christian ethos)


Appendix 2 - Job Descriptions

Appendix 2 includes:

  • Model 1 (Maintained School)
  • Model 2 (Maintained School)


Appendix 3 - Person Specifications

Appendix 3 includes:

  • Model 1
  • Model 2
  • Model 3
  • Model 4
  • Model 5


Appendix 4 - Timetables

Appendix 4 includes:

  • Timetable for two, three or four candidates
  • Timetable for three candidates
  • Timetable for four candidates
  • Timetable for two candidates (teaching headteacher post)


Appendix 5 - Interview tasks and activities

Appendix 6 - Interview questions

Appendix 7 - Collective Worship observation record

Appendix 8 - Prayers including one for Collective Worship

Appendix 9 - Shortlist grid

Launch of the new Diocesan Headteacher Recruitment Guide

This new guide was launched in March 2022. Watch Mike Simmonds during the launch session as he introduces the importance and responsibilities of the Governing Board during the recruitment of a new Head or Deputy Headteacher and the resources that are available to support you through this process.