On receiving the headteacher’s written resignation, the governing body should inform the Local Authority and the Diocese of York. In the diocese, headteacher recruitment is coordinated by Andrew Smith (Director of Education) andrew.smith@yorkdiocese.org

Recruiting a Headteacher

The Education Act 2002 requires all maintained schools to have a headteacher. Academies have greater autonomy in determining their leadership structure in accordance with their funding agreement. It is the responsibility of the governing body to select and appoint a new headteacher as soon as is possible following the resignation of the current headteacher.

Voluntary Controlled and Foundation schools

Candidates for the post of headteacher in a school that has a religious character may be asked to demonstrate their ability and fitness to ‘sustain and develop the religious character of the school’ (School Standards and Framework Act, 1998, Section 10:4). This means that it is expected that candidates for the post of headteacher in a voluntary controlled school, should be fully supportive of the school’s Christian vision and committed to developing links between the parish church and the school.

Voluntary Aided schools

In a Voluntary Aided (VA) school, the governing body is the employer and has the right to ask for a faith commitment and include a faith reference under the Equality Act 2010: Genuine Occupational Requirement. This is also the case in a VA equivalent Academy where the Trust Board is the appointing body.

Governors should make these points clear both in their advertisements and in their job or person specifications. This is a special right available to the governors of voluntary aided schools and is not affected by current human rights or equal employment opportunities legislation.

Follow this link to the NGA document Recruiting a Headteacher (December 2017);


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