School governing with impact

9 ways school governors can support their school in recruiting and retaining staff

As a governor, you bring something unique to the school. Even if recruitment is not an area of your expertise, you can have a huge impact. Here are 9 ways to make a difference:

1) Make this topic a regular agenda item: recognising that this is one of the most strategic aspects of any organisation is the first step to success.

2) Find out how much the school is spending on advertising and agencies – for both permanent and supply staff. Ask for evidence of value for money and return on investment.

3) Confirm that the way your school handles candidate information is GDPR compliant. Have clear expectations with staff that this is essential and prioritise resources for training in this area if necessary.

4) Encourage school leaders to develop a more proactive way to pipeline your own talent, internal and external. Encourage a culture shift away from being reactive, to being proactive.

5) Make it easy for staff to know what it’s like to work at your school. Your website is probably geared to pupils and parents; make a little space for some employer branding and you’ll start to hook people’s attention.

6) Support a culture of openness – talk about why people leave (do you do exit interviews?), ask how the school is developing future leadership talent, put in place a succession plan for the Headteacher and Deputy HT roles. People will make their own assumptions if there is a lack of communication and you might lose the one person you were hoping would stay.

7) Challenge the status quo & encourage leaders to create a smooth application pathway for candidates. Did you know that 35,000 teachers left the profession last year? That’s around the size of the British Navy. It’s important to begin to recognise that when teachers are looking for other jobs, they are considering other industries too. Elsewhere, it is possible to make one-click applications, rather than spending 2 hours filling out an application form. You’re not just competing with other schools for talent anymore.

8) Get Safer Recruitment trained – even if you’re an experienced hirer of talent in your profession. Recruiting staff into schools brings with it the responsibility to ensure you’re not employing people who may bring emotional, physical or sexual harm to the children and adults in your care. There are systems in place which can help you to protect against this – it’s vital to know what they are, and to be fully compliant.

9) Create a referral culture and consider offering a thank you reward in return: a referred candidate will be more likely to become an employee who was cheaper to recruit, who onboards more quickly, and stays in post longer.


Emma is an experienced in-house Recruitment Manager, Chair of Governors and works for eTeach, the global no.1 education job board, supporting schools, academies and Multi-Academy Trusts to attract and select talented professionals.


Author: Emma Gregory


Emma Gregory MCIPD is a Chair of Governors and a senior in-house Recruitment Manager for eTeach, the global no.1 education job board: supporting schools, academies and Multi-Academy Trusts to attract and select talented professionals.




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