Support for Headteacher Appointment, Review and Development



Headteacher Review And Development - The SAfE approach for 2021 / 2022

Updated June 30th 2021

Before the pandemic, there was an appetite from Surrey HTs to review and rethink the approach to Headteacher appraisal. This was driven by frustration in a process that often lacked consistency, and an appetite from HTs to engage in a meaningful and ongoing dialogue about their performance and development rather than what was sometimes described as a ‘tick box’ exercise.

SAfE picked up the research project on HT appraisal in the Spring, and we are ready to tell you about it! Take a look at this short 1 minute trailer and then read the information below!

• We spoke to HTs and governors from across the phases to understand what is working well, and what would benefit from review and improvement.
• We have used feedback from HTs and governors to develop a revised approach
• We have evolved the process to be evidence informed
• We have committed to presenting a robust, efficient and effective approach
• We have renamed the process ‘Headteacher Review and Development’ (HTRD)
• Defined the stakeholders in the HTRD team (HT, Govs, External adviser)

We identified three key areas for improvement
• Culture
• Stakeholder expertise
• Process

The revised approach will include five key features: 
• A pre recorded training session on the revised process of HTRD

• A live webinar on the effective use of coaching in the HTRD process (there will be two opportunities to attend this webinar - see dates below)

• Access to revised guidance and templates

• A clinic in the Autumn term to support you as the process gets underway

• Email help desk to support you in the HTRD process

Please view the 40 minutes recorded presentation which provides a very helpful summary and overview of the approach and process that SAfE offers.

We thought it would be helpful for you to have these dates now for your planning. The sessions will be on Zoom, and we would recommend that your HTRD team are together at the same location for this meeting. The session will include opportunities for you as a team to have helpful discussions.

Webinar option A: Tuesday 13th July, 3.30-5.30pm
Webinar option B: Thursday 16th September, 3.30-5.30pm.

Please visit our booking portal to purchase the ticket of the session you would like to attend.

Clinic Session: Wednesday 22nd September, 4 – 5pm.

For further information please contact



Headteacher Appointment

Recruiting a new Headteacher? If you are a Surrey Maintained school, do you know what to do, who to contact and who needs to be involved?

Schools Alliance for Excellence (SAfE) have the commission from the LA to support headteacher appointments in all maintained schools at all stages of the recruitment process.

Once you have received written confirmation of the resignation from you Headteacher and before you start the process the recruitment process, the Governing Body must contact SAfE. This applies even if you are a faith school, although you must inform your diocese too.

We have produced a short video which explains the statutory requirements that must be adhered to. It also outlines what is expected of your Governing Body and what support you can expect from SAfE.

Supporting Governing Bodies to appoint Headteachers

SAfE can also provide bespoke support for governing bodies appointing a new Headteacher. For maintained schools this is provided at no cost to the school.

Please contact the SAfE team for further information:

Internal Recruitment

Please find below an extract from the Surrey Governance webinar held in March 2021, in which SAfE CEO Maria Dawes addresses governors about the process of Headteacher Recruitment where the Governing Body are considering appointing a Headteacher who may already be in an acting or interim role, which may be useful in this process.



Remote Recruitment

In order to adapt to the challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic, recruitment processes may need to account for remote recruitment. Please contact if you require advice and support in how to manage this process.

View the webinar below for some advice on how to manage remote recruitment.

Remote Recruitment Webinar May 1 2020 from Schools Alliance for Excellence on Vimeo.

On Friday May 1st, SAfE hosted a webinar with speakers Claire Harnden, Deputy CEO of South Farnham Educational Trust, and Tom Holmwood, Surrey County Council Recruitment and Resourcing Manager, on ways to tackle the challenges of remote recruitment.  



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