Succession planning more important in education than at any time in the last five years

Senior teachers say succession planning is now more important to schools than it was in 2009, according to the latest research from Randstad Education, the specialist recruiter.  In a poll of senior teachers undertaken by Randstad Education, 43 per cent of respondents said succession planning was now more important than it was five years ago.

Succession planning focuses on identifying potential future leaders to fill key positions.  In a climate of talent shortage and lack of confidence in leadership potential, there is renewed interest in succession planning.  59 per cent of senior teachers said it is set to become a higher priority in the future – with none suggesting it was going to become less important.

Despite this, the results suggested 35 per cent of schools are failing to undertake succession planning of any kind.  A similar poll of 100 HR directors working in the private sector revealed 21 per cent of employers across the UK fail to undertake succession planning.

Jenny-RollinsonJenny Rollinson, managing director of Randstad Education, said: “Sound succession planning gives teachers a strong sense of having a clearly defined future within the school.  This is a powerful retention tool which taps into career fulfilment.  With escalating shortages at senior and middle level teaching professionals, it’s more important than ever to take all opportunities to retain the best and brightest teachers.  By ignoring its potential, senior teams and boards of governors alike are missing a trick. However, CEOs in the private sector have a luxury that Head Teachers simply don’t have – the support of an HR department”

However, amongst those schools that do succession plan, 43 per cent of senior teachers said they focus their succession planning on the top three levels of management and below – compared to the UK average of 37 per cent.

She continued: “When schools do succession planning – which admittedly is not as often as they should – schools do it well.  Education professionals look further into the future when they recruit and when they promote. They don’t just look at qualifications and skills, they look at staff/pupil/parent relationship building skills and the right fit.  We suspect that when it comes to hiring people who look like they might make good heads of department, or assistant heads, senior teams are using some of the skills they have honed in the classroom, rooting out potential in their students.”

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