The appointment of a new principal is likely to be the most important decision any Board of Trustees will make.
The choice of who will take over the leadership of the school will have repercussions well into the school’s future. The principal is the single most influential person in the daily life of any school. He/she influences the learning outcomes of its students, the professional performance and progression of its staff, the physical and emotional well-being of the school community and the management of the school’s property and resources.
The appointing board has to be certain that the person who is to be entrusted with these responsibilities is the right person. Therefore the process of appointment must be designed and implemented in order to minimize the risk of making the wrong decision.
Boards must also bear in mind that the risk is two-way, for by appointing the wrong person a career may be severely impaired if not ended. It is a risk for the appointee.
Any principal appointment process must take into account the legal responsibilities a board has under the EEO provisions of the State Sector Act and the Human Rights Act, it must operate procedural fairness and within its own appointments policy.
This process should be one that presents the school to potential candidates in its best light that attracts the highest calibre applicants and makes the best selection on grounds that match the demands of the job, the requirements of the board and the expectations of the school community.
In successfully completing this match the Board will be leaving a sound legacy for the future.
The staff of the school, teaching and non-teaching, have a major stake in the appointment. They are required to work alongside the appointee in a harmonious, productive relationship. The chief asset of any organisation is its professional and well performing staff. It is very much in everyone’s interest to ensure that a new principal appointee does not cause the school to lose this valuable asset. Therefore this stakeholder group should be encouraged to participate in the appointment process, be kept informed of progress as the process is followed and given assurance that the Board will be mindful of the need to appoint a person who is best suited to the job at this school.
EdSol has a distinguished record in principal appointments over many years, our reputation is second to none and many schools enjoy the fruits of a successful principal appointment guided by us.
On commencement of contracting our services we will hold an initial meeting with the Board of Trustees to go over the whole process to be followed, the overview of that process and the details of how selection will be made.
Once advertising has commenced there will be a period of administrative activity:
On closing date by which applications are to be received we will commence our analysis. Edsolnz will collate on a spreadsheet all applicants’ details both for EEO purposes and as a means of summarizing the specifications of each candidate for Board consideration.
This is the selection phase following which a suitable appointment will be made.
Following the Board’s decision we will provide a letter of appointment appropriate to the grade of position, the relevant collective agreement and to the date of commencement of duties. We will return applications with a personalized letter to unsuccessful candidates.
Additionally Edsolnz will be able to provide the Board with a principal job description and a pro-forma performance agreement based upon professional standards for principals.