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The Performance Review of Executive Leaders in School Trusts Part 2

Process Planning and Delivery – CST, BlueSky Education and Browne Jacobson LLP Guidance Paper

The performance review of the school trust CEO or Executive Leader is one of the Board’s most significant responsibilities. It is key to the Board’s leadership of strategy and values, its accountability for educational outcomes and financial health, and supports the development and well-being of the trust’s most senior employee.

Process Planning and Delivery, is the second in a series of three guidance notes on the performance review of chief executives. The series provides robust sector- and role-specific guidance on the principles and practices of executive performance review to support your trust’s process from end-to-end, whatever its size or stage of development.

The guidance has been developed by the Confederation of School Trusts (CST) in partnership with BlueSky Education, experts in appraisal and professional learning, and Browne Jacobson, experts in education HR and law.

What you will learn in this guidance paper

Preparing for Executive Review: This guidance emphasises the importance of early preparation for a successful review process. It highlights the ongoing relationship between the chief executive and the chair, emphasizing the need for continuous reinforcement of performance standards and expectations.

Inputs and Evidence: Effective appraisal is a cornerstone of governance, emphasising shared accountability. In this guidance we explore how ensuring a well-structured review process can significantly impact the quality of educational provision and the future prospects of students.

Conducting the Review Meeting: The guidance explores how setting objectives is crucial, considering the evolving educational landscape. It is essential to establish clear goals and milestones, providing a transparent framework for objective discussions and progress tracking.

Setting Objectives: Before the appraisal meeting, provide context by understanding the organisation’s history and challenges, while acknowledging individual and team strengths using a strengths-based approach. The guidance notes that constructive feedback, using the “noticing technique,” fosters a positive atmosphere and encourages improvement.

Evaluation and Reporting: Finally the guidance explores how the method for evaluation and reporting should align with your established policies and procedures for performance reviews. It is recommended for boards to delegate executive performance reviews to a dedicated committee or panel.

Please complete the form to download the full Information paper.

Download the guidance paper

Executive performance review enables the Board and the Executive Leader to develop clear objectives that align with the trust’s strategic priorities, agree how they will be measured, and define what good outcomes look like. This creates a framework for the Chair’s work with the Executive Leader across the year to hold them accountable for achieving the agreed goals and provide the ongoing support that will help them to succeed.

BlueSky Education for School Trusts and Groups, school trust, school improvement

BlueSky Education is a CST Platinum Partner for Appraisal, Professional Learning, Quality Assurance and Strategic Development. 


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