Appointing a less than satisfactory subject specialist teacher

Reflection – Secondary School

What was the issue addressed?
We needed to recruit a subject teacher and had advertised three times. We had one applicant who following the interview we felt was not quite up to the standard we expected. The question we had to wrestle with was whether to appoint the teacher and place a not quite good enough teacher in front of classes OR not appoint them and end up placing a non-subject specialist teacher in front of classes.

What happened?
We appointed the teacher and placed them under strict supervision by the subject head. This was not ideal because it placed even more strain on the subject head.

What lessons were learnt?
So far things are working out OK. Recruiting teachers is never easy!

The school was in a difficult position, having gone through the appointment process a number of times. The appointment panel would usually appoint the best candidate for the role, and appointing someone that doesn’t quite meet the standard that was needed was a gamble, but has paid off at this school. Never feel pressurised into making an appointment though, it has to be right and it is certainly worth considering other options available in discussion with the Local Authority, Regional Consortium and Diocesan Authority, such as sharing a teacher with other schools, secondment opportunities etc..

Ensuring that there is support in place is important for any new member of staff. This could be a light touch induction or a more comprehensive package based on levels of experience etc.

Sometimes teachers perform better in front of a class than they do during the appointment process so appointment panels should have an open mind. Was lesson observation part of the interview process?

Please seek advice from the Local Authority or Diocesan Authority as appropriate, right from the beginning or contact Governors Cymru Services on [email protected]

Has your school had to make any less than satisfactory appointments of teachers? If so, what did you do to ensure pupils received good teaching?
What challenges has your school faced in seeking to recruit new teachers?

Have your say…
Have you had experiences similar to these?
What do you think about the situation described?

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