Appendix 4: Appointing and managing teachers ( Principals' survey)

[199 responses: 173 primary schools, 21 secondary, 5 composite]

Purpose of this survey:

  • to find out about the current processes for appointing and managing staff
  • to obtain information that can be used to support boards and principals in their role as employer
  • for schools to use as an audit tool.

Staff appointments

Policies and procedures for recruitment and appointment include information about:

 

Primary (%)

Secondary (%)

All schools (%)

Board involvement with appointments of leaders or senior staff

97

100

97

Delegation to the principal for any staff appointments

90

95

90

Delegation to appointments committee for any staff appointments

84

76

83

Role and composition of appointment committee

72

62

71

Developing the job description and person specification

66

57

64

Obtaining independent professional advice

56

24

53

Obtaining authorisation from applicants to seek information from a wide range of people

57

43

55

Asking for disclosure of criminal convictions

76

81

76

Asking whether applicants have been the subject of any complaint concerning the safety of a student

13

24

15

Validating and verifying qualifications (sighting originals of all documents supplied)

46

52

46

Checking background and performance of applicants

81

86

81

Who is responsible for undertaking reference checks

47

62

49

The stage of process when reference checks will be carried out

45

19

42

How reference checks will be carried out / importance of carrying out thorough checks of references and previous employment

38

33

37

Privacy and confidentiality guidelines

62

71

63

Developing the interview questions and/or presentation required

54

48

52

Deciding the referees/reference questions

45

43

44

Dealing with information about an applicant’s or employee’s criminal conviction

25

52

29

Preparing an employment agreement

46

48

46

People involved in the appointment process other than board of trustees

 

Primary (%)

Secondary (%)

All schools (%)

Senior staff

50

71

52

Another principal

4

10

4

External professional, please state

3

0

3

Whānau, parents

2

0

2

Kaumātua

1

0

1

Pasifika communities representative/s

1

0

1

How others were involved

(n=113)

Primary

Secondary

All schools

Short listing

35

4

39

Interview

50

6

56

Deciding who to select

19

3

22

On appointment committee

22

0

22

Reference checks

10

1

11

Whole process

7

0

7

Job description, criteria, interview questions

5

1

6

Discussion with colleagues

6

2

8

Students involved in interviews

1

2

3

Supervised tasks/asked scenarios

2

 

2

Trial lesson/tutorial

 

2

2

Who carried out the reference checks

 

Primary

(%)

Secondary

(%)

All schools

(%)

Principal

88

86

87

Senior staff

20

29

22

Syndicate leader/ head of department

2

10

3

Stage when reference checks were carried out

 

Primary

(%)

Secondary

(%)

All schools

(%)

To confirm shortlist

70

76

71

To confirm appointment

33

38

33

Checks made

 

Primary

(%)

Secondary

(%)

All schools

(%)

Referees nominated by applicant

92

95

92

Current school

61

71

61

Previous school/s

45

52

46

Any check

95

95

95

How checks were made

 

Primary

(%)

Secondary

(%)

All schools

(%)

Phone

82

95

84

Email

7

14

8

Letter

2

5

2

Records kept

(n=162)

Primary

Secondary

All schools

None kept, all destroyed

25

5

30

CV

42

4

44

Application

27

3

30

Referee information kept

33

6

39

Notes of referee info made but not kept

7

1

8

Successful applicant only

22

1

23

Notes (no additional info)

15

2

17

Interview notes

21

3

24

Interview notes destroyed later

3

0

3

Notes on appointment decision

12

1

13

Notes on process

3

1

4

In hindsight, aspects of the process to improve

(n=101)

Primary

Secondary

All schools

Sound process

21

3

24

Consent to approach wide range of refs, more checks

17

3

20

Better records, especially referee checks

17

1

18

Document process

7

1

8

Application form including disciplinary actions

or complaints regarding students

5

0

5

Review procedures

4

0

4

Developing interview questions

3

1

4

Opportunity to see applicants in current roles

3

0

3

Validating qualifications

1

1

2

Important to get it right

0

2

2

Note: 29 commented that nothing needs improving

Useful sources of information and advice when appointing staff

People/organisations

Very useful or useful (%)

Not used or not aware of (%)

Not useful (%)

Principal of another school

81

19

1

NZSTA personnel, industrial relations advisor, helpdesk

56

42

2

NZEI staff

37

61

2

Teachers’ Council staff

26

72

2

NZ Principals’ Federation staff

23

75

2

Other courses, seminars

20

77

3

University papers

19

77

5

Course, seminar for first time principals

17

76

7

Member of board of trustees of another school

16

81

2

NZSTA course, seminar, webinar

14

84

3

Ministry of Education staff

14

81

4

Course, seminar for experienced principals

12

86

2

University/PLD providers

11

87

2

Recruitment/employment agency

10

88

2

PPTA staff

6

94

1

SPANZ staff

6

92

1

Employers association

5

94

1

NZ Secondary Principals Council staff

4

95

2

Iwi Education Authorities

4

95

1

Confidence in carrying out the processes for appointing teachers

 

Primary

Secondary

 

Very confident (%)

Confident (%)

Very confident (%)

Confident (%)

Deciding priorities for the position

68

32

90

10

Job descriptions and criteria for appointment

54

45

60

40

Recruitment

47

51

55

45

Short-listing

54

43

55

35

Deciding the interview questions

53

42

60

40

Conducting the interview

57

41

75

25

Validating and verifying qualifications

37

51

45

45

Checking background and performance of applicants

39

49

45

45

Questioning referees about applicant capability

40

55

50

45

Assessing the risks that applicants may be dishonest, emotionally unstable, or unsuited to work with students and young people

23

59

35

45

Deciding which applicant to appoint

47

51

50

45

Verifying identity

33

54

37

53

If you do not feel confident about any of these, what do you need to feel more confident

(n=53)

Primary

Secondary

All schools

Nothing, not applicable

6

1

7

More information about background, experience, strengths of applicants

4

2

6

TC verifying identity, photo on ID card

3

1

4

Referees being honest

3

1

4

Verifying qualifications, especially overseas

4

0

4

Being better informed re processes

3

0

3

Developing interview questions

3

0

3

Questions for referees

2

0

2

Managing staff issues and complaints and ensuring students safety and wellbeing

Policies and procedures cover:

 

Primary (%)

Secondary (%)

All schools (%)

Guidelines about safety of students

91

91

91

Keeping students safe, including reporting child abuse

92

90

91

Dealing with complaints about staff

90

90

89

Procedures for supporting a student disclosing abuse

90

76

88

Dealing with concerns about staff

83

86

82

Sources of advice and guidance when dealing with concerns about child safety and wellbeing

77

71

76

Privacy Act and its implications for taking action

72

81

72

How staff should respond and what action to take when staff are aware of concerns about behaviour of other staff

69

76

70

Guidelines about safe contact in school between students and staff

66

71

67

Documenting concerns, actions taken, warnings

67

62

66

Guidelines about contact between staff and students during EOTC events

63

76

64

Guidelines on reporting to board about concerns or complaints about staff in in-committee minutes

60

81

62

The need for staff to recognise their position as teacher gives them status and authority in the community that means it is important their behaviour outside school is appropriate

55

71

57

Counselling and support available for students when appropriate

50

90

55

EOTC guidelines include requirement that teachers not be alone with a student or be the only adult sleeping with a group of students /include guidelines about safe sleeping and transport arrangements for school camps and trips

53

67

53

Importance of balancing obligation to be a ‘good employer’ with ensuring students are safe

53

48

51

Communicating with parents of students involved during any investigation

44

48

45

Guidelines about safe out of school contact between students and staff

31

43

33

Procedures include how to deal with students when they return to school after making an allegation against a staff member (whether true or untrue or retracted)

13

14

14

Protocols stating clearly that staff should not have students staying over at their homes

9

29

12

Actions taken in 2012-2013 to support the safety and wellbeing of students

 

Primary (%)

Secondary (%)

All schools (%)

Regular board review of NAG 5

76

81

76

Consulting parents about health curriculum

70

76

71

School involvement in personal safety programmes such as Keeping Ourselves Safe that provide strategies for students and strengthen self-esteem

73

24

67

Regular staff review of effectiveness of policy, procedures, and practice in promoting student safety and wellbeing

58

67

59

Staff discussion about how to practice in a safe manner

52

52

52

Raising awareness among staff of the policies, guidelines and procedures for child wellbeing and implications for teacher practice

51

48

51

Surveying students about whether they feel safe at school

46

71

49

Surveying parents about safety and wellbeing of students at school

36

33

35

Training of staff in how to recognise signs of child abuse and respond appropriately

33

24

33

Information or training about potential risk of people grooming students

12

14

13