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School Development Service

Leadership and Management


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Headteacher Performance Review:

Practical guidance and activities for governors and headteachers

Reviewing the head's performance against last year's objectives

The pre-review meetings with the external adviser
Have these objectives been met?
The overall performance of the headteacher
Review of the headteacher’s overall performance – proforma

The pre-review meetings with the external adviser

It is good practice for the external adviser to meet separately with the head and with the appointed governors. The pre-review meetings can be used to:

  • explore how adviser can help
  • discuss preliminary advice and clarify outstanding issues
  • identify headteacher’s successes
  • discuss previous objectives and evidence
  • discuss the setting of new objectives
  • explore ways to monitor, evaluate and measure progress
  • consider how to review the overall performance of the headteacher
  • discuss possible areas identified for the headteacher’s continuing professional development
  • clarify any areas of uncertainty
  • clarify how formal review meeting will proceed and role of adviser.

Q - Which of the above will be particularly relevant for the pre-review meeting between the external adviser and the headteacher?

Q - Which of the above will be particularly relevant for the pre-review meeting between the external adviser and the appointed governors?

Have these objectives been met?

Look at the objectives below and the description of the outcomes. Do you think the objectives were met?

Objective: Improve Key Stage 2 SATs results in mathematics

Results at Level 4 (76%) were disappointing after last year’s 80%, though 28% gained Level 5 which was a significant rise over last year (21%). Both of these results are above the LEA average and in line with national figures.

Objective: To improve the management of pupil behaviour

An evaluation of students’ attitudes has been carried out, supplemented by feedback from performance management classroom observations. This shows more positive attitudes about lessons. Responses led to changes in the use of rewards and sanctions.

Further developments include a new policy and staff development to encourage the use of methods that engage pupils, such as collaborative learning approaches.

Exit interviews with staff leaving the school indicated that they rated highly the impact of staff development activities in this area. However, the exclusion rate remains the same as last year.

Objective: To raise awareness about substance abuse

A successful meeting was held for parents and staff. One of the Friday special assemblies was used to raise pupils’ awareness.

Some questions to ask:

1. Was the objective clear enough to judge whether the outcome was successful? Were some success criteria needed?
2. Did the objective take account of the fact that pupil cohorts vary? Was the objective set in relation to predictions about pupils’ attainment?
3. Can you tell if appropriate action was taken by the headteacher to bring about the desired change?
4. Was the objective too challenging or too easy?

If you had difficulty judging whether these objectives were met or not, bear in mind the points raised by the above questions in your own review meeting. Is it clear what is expected? Are there some success criteria to help judge the result? Is the objective based on analysis and predictions?

The overall performance of the headteacher

  • How do governors decide if the headteacher’s performance has been of ‘sustained high quality’?
  • What will the headteacher have done, for governors to decide that his/her performance is of high quality?
  1. To be excellent, the headteacher’s performance should include examples of achievements that are described as:
    excellent, outstanding, first rate, extremely high, exceptional, highly impressive, remarkable, notable, very significant, highly successful.
  • What would a satisfactory performance look like?

Review of headteacher’s overall performance

The following proforma is intended to guide governors in determining to what extent the headteacher's vision, leadership and sense of direction for the school has brought about success, or led to significant improvement in the following areas.

Key Area Key Outcomes from
National Standards
Evidence from School Review:
what to Consider
Securing effective teaching and learningEffective teachingLesson observations show
teaching has improved; Ofsted
report and LEA visits show effective teaching.
 Effective learning so that pupils
make progress in relation to their
prior attainment, to meet or exceed expected levels
Examination and test results;
value-added analysis shows good progress; LEA targets met or
exceeded; observations of
learning and teaching.
Strategic leadership and directionA positive ethos reflecting the school’s commitment to high achievement Awards such as Artsmark; plans
focus on driving up standards; all
staff have objectives focused on improving achievement.
 The life of the school and its
curriculum effectively promote
pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and
cultural development and prepare them for adult life
Creates ethos and curriculum that enable pupils to develop intuition,
imagination and to understand
what makes them who they are
(see School Council/Pupil
Mentoring Systems). Behaviour
Management has focused on
gaining respect, developing
compassion and awareness of consequences of behaviour (see
behaviour monitoring logs).

Development of own
personal knowledge, understanding and performance


Headteacher provides a professional role model for staff


Leads by example, providing
inspiration and motivation.
Commands credibility; provides professional direction for others;

prioritises; achieves challenging
goals (see feedback from
governors’ monitoring visits, feedback from parents). Endorsed by IIP.



Headteacher is up to date with educational innovation


Keen to learn of best practice
from elsewhere; well-briefed

about current initiatives; adaptingto changing circumstances, new
ideas (see governor briefing at
least termly on new initiatives/developments and implications for the school).

Relationship with stakeholders


Staff and governors recognise their accountability for their tasks and the school’s success


Brings about a shared view of
priorities, shared sense of
ambition for the school; ensures
all work to challenging goals;
creates good teamwork to
achieve aims (see shared staff/governor development activities).

Links with the wider community contribute to pupils’ attainment and personal development


Fruitful business links; people
use school facilities and work or
help in school; school welcomes
visitors; regular outside visits
enhance pupils’ learning; school capitalises on expertise and resources in the community.

Links with feeder and next

School contributes to initial
training of teachers and support

 Parents enjoy an effective relationship with the school that contributes to their child’s learningPartnership with parents created
to support and improve pupils’ achievement and development; comprehensive sharing of

Sound planning and problem solving


The improvement plan is carefully costed and focused on improving educational outcomes


LEA monitoring shows effective planning to raise standards.

Strategic plans focused on
priorities for improvement; underpinned by financial

Securing and managing resources

Efficient and effective use is madeof staff, accommodation and resources


Recruitment, retention and
deployment of staff; get the best
out of staffing resources through
skilful management; manage and organise accommodation;
appropriate priorities for
expenditure. Endorsed by IIP.
 Financial control and administration are effectiveValue for money; established
priorities, targets and systems; ‘Value for Money’; ‘Keeping your Balance’.
Managing and Developing Staff

Teachers are systematically monitored, evaluated and supported in their work


Commitment to professional
development; effectiveness of
performance management

arrangements; use of
performance data to set
direction; use of lesson
observations and developmental
Monitoring and evaluation

Effectiveness is kept under rigorous review


Use range of information such as
data, performance management
and observations, to set new

Ofsted S4 form used for self

LEA review shows that school
has good self-evaluation systems.

For a PDF copy please download Headteacher's Review

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