Step 1 - Planning to recruit and advertise

Guidance on preparing to recruit

It is important to plan recruitment carefully to allow sufficient time at each stage. Use this Recruitment and selection checklist (doc format, 103Kb)

Top factors to consider:

  • The job – Is the role still required? Is the job description up to date?
  • Selection criteria - All candidates will be assessed against the selection criteria, so they must form a fair and non-discriminatory framework that is applied in a consistent way throughout the recruitment and selection process.
  • Advertisement – Where is the best place to advertise? What does the advert need to tell applicants?
  • Interview and selection methods
    • Do you want to use other selection methods in addition to interviews, such as delivering a lesson, a presentation or some other activity? Will children be involved?
    • Who will conduct the interviews and has at least one member of the panel been trained in Safe Recruitment? To discuss safer recruitment training contact See further details on the Safeguarding Training page.
    • When and where will the interviews take place?
  • Roles and responsibilities – Who will carry out pre-interview checks, photocopy application packs, invite candidates to interview, organise the interviews? Who will gather information to record against the school’s equality objectives?

Follow the school’s Recruitment Policy

The Department for Education (DfE) ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ requires schools to have a clear recruitment and selection policy and procedure in place.

This Model Recruitment Policy (docx format, 46Kb) can be localised by schools to provide a framework within which recruitment and selection activities take place.

Writing a job advert

The job advert is the first image potential applicants will see of the school. It is critical to get it right and make sure it promotes a positive impression. It needs to be concise and include the essential requirements people need to do the job, so that you only get suitable applicants.

Adverts should include:

  • Information about the job:  Job title, grade/salary, any additional allowances, location, hours of work, duration (i.e. permanent, temporary or fixed term), key aims,  interesting features.
  • Information about the school:  achievements, growth, size, interest factors, future projects and development.
  • Essential requirements: qualifications, skills, experience, knowledge and attitude required (taken from the selection criteria)
  • How to apply: Encourage people to phone for an informal chat about the job or even visit the school, let them know who to contact, where to get a job description/role profile. We also recommend giving the date/s interviews will be help so applicants can hold the time in their diaries.
  • Equalities statement – to promote and develop a diverse workforce at the school, include a statement about its commitment as an equal opportunity employer. (See guidance on Equality Act and what not to write in adverts (pdf format, 113Kb)
  • Safeguarding statement – This is a key statement to highlight the schools commitment to child safeguarding in an effort to deter any unsuitable candidates. For example '_______School is committed to safeguarding children and young people.  All post holders in regulated activity are subject to appropriate vetting procedures and a satisfactory “Disclosure and Barring Service Enhanced check”.

Education Jobs Oxfordshire is the main recruitment hub for education opportunities in Oxfordshire. They promote Teaching, Leadership and Support vacancies in schools.

Candidate application packs

Purpose of the application pack

Decide whether you want to produce an application pack for applicants. This will depend on the nature of the vacancy including its duration. Application packs offer you the opportunity to provide key information to potential applicants.

The contents will vary depending on the post however as a minimum the pack could contain:

A letter from the Headteacher and/or Chair of Governors

Give a personal message to the applicant, thanking them for their interest and potential time in completing an application form. Offer them an opportunity to visit the school and encourage them to apply.

Information about the school

Provide more information about the school, its ethos and values and about the job to really promote it to potential applicants and encourage them to apply.

Also include details about the role, it’s responsibilities e.g. staff management or additional responsibilities that attract a Teaching and Learning Responsibility payment.

For leadership positions include information on the pupil profile, or extracts from the school improvement plan. For site management it may include details of the site.

Perhaps include a recent parent newsletter, local newspaper articles, excerpts from a recent Ofsted report and perhaps a statement from the school council to convey what the children want to say about the school.

Application Procedure

This would cover:

  • how to apply (i.e. application form), where the application form needs to be sent and by when (the closing date).
  • details of the interview process, including dates if they are known, whether there will be any other selection exercises
  • whether applications will be acknowledged and how (letter or email) and whether feedback will be available (it is strongly recommended this is always offered)
  • person to contact with any queries
  • state that the school’s recruitment policy is available on request to all prospective applicants from the school office.

Details about the role

It is essential that the application pack contains the job description so that candidates understand the nature of the role and the skills and requirements required.

Model Job Descriptions for School Support Staff

Model job descriptions for Teachers

Application Form

Equalities Policy/statement and Monitoring form

The Equalities and Monitoring form should be assessed by the school so the Governing Body can demonstrate they are compliant with the public sector equality duty and are meeting their equality objective(s).

The equalities page should be detached from the application form before being passed to the shortlisting panel. The information should be collated in order to meet equality reporting requirements.

A copy of the advert

A copy of the advert is good practice, particularly if the advert was only online - the advert will disappear after the closing date and will not be accessible by the candidate