How to hold the senior leadership team to account

Providing challenge to the senior leadership team (SLT) is a key part of being a governor. Find out how to do it effectively, including how to involve SLT members in governing board meetings and what to do if problems arise.

Last reviewed on 31 August 2022
School types: AllSchool phases: AllRef: 3790
  1. Know your school
  2. Set rigorous performance management objectives
  3. Go on school visits 
  4. Invite SLT members to meetings
  5. Ask challenging questions
  6. Confidently challenge data
  7. Address problems head-on

Know your school

Before you can hold your SLT to account, you'll need a strong understanding of what they're trying to achieve. You'll also need to understand the context they're trying to achieve it in.

Know your strategic objectives

Your board should have a school improvement plan (SIP) that sets out:

  • The school's objectives
  • The actions to be taken
  • Deadlines
  • Who is accountable

Get to know this plan inside out. 

Know your context

External factors can have a big impact on pupil outcomes. These could be:

  • School size
  • Your local area 
  • Your pupils' characteristics, such as:
    • Pupils with SEND
    • Pupils eligible for pupil premium
    • Pupils with English as an additional language

Use our 'knowing your school' checklist to make sure you've got a good grasp of your school's key information.

Download: knowing your school – checklist DOCX, 532.3 KB

Set rigorous performance management objectives

Set the headteacher's objectives in line with the

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