Information for headteachers, principals and governors
It is essential that all those involved in developing, attracting and appointing school leaders draw upon the widest and most diverse pool of talent available. This is to ensure schools continue to benefit from world-class leaders, and to create a strong and robust leadership team that builds and maintains equality. More than ever, we need to grow a new generation of great school leaders, and everyone – whether current or aspiring head, school governor, diocese or local authority – has a crucial role to play.
So, what steps can you take within your school or academy?
Leaders, governors and management
- Ensure there is a clear succession planning strategy with diversity right at the heart.
- Ensure that governors and the senior leadership team (SLT) are aware of the Equality Act 2010 requirements, and are trained on equality and diversity policies and issues.
- Ensure that workforce data is collected annually and analysed by posts, grade and the eight equalities groups (race, age, gender, ethnicity, disability, religion and belief, sexual orientation and gender identity, and maternity and pregnancy).
- Ensure that action is taken to address inequality where evidence shows it exists.
- Produce an equalities action plan linking it clearly to the overall school business planning process.
- Join a scheme such as Investors in Diversity or Stonewall's Education Champions, which will give you a framework to follow in order to achieve compliance with equalities legislation.
- Ensure that internal candidates from under-represented groups are encouraged to apply for promotion, supported with the completion of application forms and given clear interview feedback.
- Ensure that an effective marketing strategy is in place to ensure significant levels of applications for senior posts from candidates from under-represented groups.
- Ensure that selection and recruitment processes are screened for bias.
- Ensure shortlisting and interview panels are made up of individuals from diverse backgrounds.
- Ensure all members of shortlisting and interview panels have had recruitment and diversity and equality training.
- Ensure there are clear criteria for talents (for example, what constitutes a ‘talented individual’?).
- Ensure that talent spotting is a core task for all SLT members.
- Ensure that talent spotting information is shared with all staff so that individuals can self-select and put themselves forward for consideration as well as be referred.
- Ensure that regular quality, school-based and external opportunities are available for professional development.
- Ensure that acting up opportunities - especially at assistant head level and above - are regularly available.
- Ensure that coaching or mentoring are available to all staff.
- Ensure that staff focus groups are regularly run to find out more about specific development needs.
- Ensure that all staff feel valued, are able to be themselves and that their contribution matters and their voice is heard.
- Run an annual staff satisfaction survey and analyse results by equality groups and share the results with staff.
- Support staff in accessing local authority offers designed to retain staff.
- Ensure that all staff are supported in developing a healthy work-life balance. This can be of particular concern for individuals from traditionally under-represented groups.
- A guide to achieving equality and diversity in school and children's centre leadership
- A succession planning (diversity) audit tool for governors
- Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) equality duties and schools report
- Investors in Diversity
- Stonewall Education Champions
- Stonewall education guide: effective school leadership
- Stonewall Speak Out survey for young people (11-19 years)