Interview procedures

Hotline advice expressed here, and in calls to us, is made in good faith to our members. Schools and colleges should always take formal HR or legal advice from their indemnified provider before acting.

ASCL members concerned about leadership issues should call the Hotline on 0116 299 1122 or email

Q: I am an assistant headteacher and I have just been for an interview for a deputy head post at an academy nearby. I did not get the post, and I am not happy with the interview procedures. Can I complain about the interview?

A: Interview procedures are many and varied, but must be fair to all candidates. There are very few statutory requirements for what must happen, but when appointing a headteacher and deputy headteacher in a maintained school, the governing body must appoint a selection panel consisting of at least three of its members under regulation 15, paragraph 3 of The School Staffing (England) Regulations 2009.

Additionally, page 12 of the DfE’s guidance on these regulations says that at least one person on a recruitment panel must have completed safer recruitment training.

The requirements for staffing for academy trusts are set out in their funding agreements and regulations. It is up to an academy or multi-academy trust (MAT) to decide which recruitment functions they delegate, but it would certainly be deemed to be good practice to have someone on the panel who has completed the safer recruitment training. See

The interview day should follow the same format for all candidates, and many schools will adopt standard questions, so that no candidate can be perceived to have been treated unfairly. If a candidate feels that s/he has been discriminated against contrary to the Equality Act 2010, then s/he could complain to the school and may be entitled to bring proceedings against the school in an employment tribunal.

Related Pages

Pay and conditions

  • Conditions
  • Pay

Headship Induction Programme

  • Leadership
  • Employment
  • Wales
  • Recruitment and Retention
  • Career Progression
  • Governors and Trustees
  • Professional Development
  • CPD
  • Northern Ireland