3.1.6 Recruitment of school leaders

Effective school leaders are among the main determinants of effective schools, effective teachers and hence, educational outcomes. In many contexts, however, school leaders or ’acting leaders/heads’ are selected from within the existing teaching staff and assigned to school leadership functions without the necessary skills, training or authority to perform the role effectively (ILO, 2012: 42; OECD, 2014a: 68–70). A teacher policy should provide for a recruitment of school leaders underpinned by the principles of efficiency, equity and transparency. Although it is possible in some contexts to combine school leadership with classroom teaching, all school leaders should be formally appointed to and remunerated for their leadership responsibilities.

The recruitment of school leaders will be closely associated with education and training in school leadership, whether delivered prior to recruitment or in-service, as part of CPD. The process should be based on the standards required of school leaders in terms of qualifications, knowledge, competences, and attributes (see Sections 3.7 and 3.7.3). Qualification standards for school leaders are likely to include a combination of academic qualifications, professional teacher training, management training (including a focus on school administration, instructional leadership and school improvement) and a minimum period of teaching experience. (ILO, 2012: 43; OECD, 2014a: 71–72).

The recruitment process should be based on these standards and designed to identify candidates who can meet them in a transparent and open manner. A framework for recruitment procedures and eligibility criteria has been recommended to facilitate the process. When positions for school leaders become vacant, they should be well publicized through locally appropriate and broadly accessible communication channels, both within and outside the school. Clear information regarding the required profile (person specification), the job description and the application process should be freely available. Selection panels should comprise employer, teacher and parent representatives, as well as members of school governing bodies or school councils who have been trained in recruiting school leaders. Where no candidate fulfils the specifications, a candidate who demonstrates the potential to perform the role with sufficient professional support, preparation and training may be appointed; in such cases, confirmation of the appointment should be made conditional on the candidate achieving the requisite level of qualification and performance within an agreed timeframe (ILO, 2012: 41–45; OECD, 2009: 22, 39).

3.1.5 Equity in teacher recruitment

3.1.7 Teacher recruitment in fragile states and emergency situations