Headteacher appraisal: appointing a panel

Get guidance on assembling your headteacher appraisal panel, including who to appoint and what's required in maintained schools and academies.

Last reviewed on 4 October 2022
School types: All · School phases: All
Ref: 4216
  1. Set up a panel
  2. Decide who to appoint
  3. When you might change your panel membership 
  4. Academies: extra considerations

Set up a panel

Governing boards in maintained schools are required to carry out their headteacher's annual appraisal, and must follow the appraisal regulations

Academies don't have to follow these regulations, but it's good practice, as explained in the Department for Education's model appraisal policy (page 4). 

The model appraisal policy suggests you appoint a group of 2 or 3 governors to serve as appraisers (page 7). In this article we refer to the group as a panel, but they're also known as a committee.

A panel with 3 governors is ideal as this allows for a good balance of views, according to our associate governance expert Tony Cook. This also ensures you have enough 'untainted' governors to hear an appeal if necessary.

Decide who to appoint

External adviser

Maintained schools must appoint an external adviser to support and guide the panel through the appraisal process.

Academies aren't required to appoint an external adviser, but it's good practice to do so.

Helps to plug