Last reviewed on 15 March 2023
Statutory/mandatory for: Maintained schools Academies Free schools Independent schools Pupil referral units

Get information on how to review your school's staff capability policy, including questions you can ask. Save time with our policy checklist, and use our model policy to see what good looks like.

What this policy needs to do 

  • Maintained schools: Regulation 8 of The School Staffing (England) Regulations 2009 states that the governing board must establish procedures for dealing with lack of capability of staff
  • Academies: you're free to decide who has responsibility for capability procedures. The board can delegate this responsibility (see paragraphs 143 and 145 of the Governance Handbook

When carrying out capability procedures, governors must make sure they abide by the Equality Act 2010, including the duty to make reasonable adjustments for staff with disabilities.

Aside from this, there are no statutory requirements for what the policy needs to include, just that you need to have one with procedures in place. It's on the DfE's statutory policy list for: 

  • Maintained schools
    • Including maintained special schools and nursery schools
  • Academies
  • Pupil referral units 
  • Independent schools
  • Free schools

The following is based on the DfE's non-statutory model policy on teacher appraisal and capability, and the Acas code of practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures.

Capability procedure