Academic journal article American Academic & Scholarly Research Journal

A Comparative Study of Current Practice to Appoint Head Teachers in England and the USA

Academic journal article American Academic & Scholarly Research Journal

A Comparative Study of Current Practice to Appoint Head Teachers in England and the USA

Article excerpt

Abstract. This paper is based on a review of relevant literature, which draws comparisons between the current practice in the appointment of head teachers in advanced countries (England - which refers to England and Wales in this paper - and the United States). The recruitment and selection systems of school head teachers in both countries, with a focus on the similarities and differences between these systems. It also outlines the challenges that schools face in the USA and England to meet their demand for qualified head teachers. Recommendations are given to improve the selection system.

Keywords: recruitment, selection systems, selection criteria, school headteacher .

1 Introduction

The current focus on school leader preparation around the world is based upon the belief that school leaders make a difference in both the effectiveness and efficiency of schooling (Hallinger & Snidvongs, 2008). There has been international agreement about the call for school leaders who have the necessary power to improve teaching, learning and pupils' improvement and achievement (OECD, 2010). The final report for the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) (2009) represents a unique empirical and context-informed account, over time, of the leadership values, qualities and actions by which heads, in particular, exercise direct, intentional influence on pupil behaviour, staff commitment and quality, teaching and learning conditions and, through this, pupil outcomes (DCSF, 2009).

The research emphasises that head teachers in the more effective schools are successful in improving pupil outcomes through their values, virtues, dispositions, attributes and competencies, and through the specific recipe and appropriate implementation and management of these strategies in unique situations (DCSF, 2009). For these reasons, the recruitment, retention and development of school principals are matters of great significance for all school systems (Chapman, 2005). It is essential to select (and develop) suitable individuals for school leadership positions. This importance has led to the improvement of the present system of selection procedures (Huber & Hiltmann, 2010).

This paper is based on a review of relevant literature, which draws comparisons between the current practice in the appointment of head teachers in advanced countries (England - which refers to England and Wales in this paper - and the United States). It is divided into two parts; the first section compares the recruitment and selection systems of school head teachers in both countries, with a focus on the similarities and differences between them. The second outlines the challenges that schools face in the USA and England to meet their demand for qualified head teachers. Finally, recommendations are made to improve the selection system in the Ministry of Education in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), and comments are made on what can be generally learned from these examples.

Definitions of terms

Recruitment is the process of identifying and attracting a group of potential candidates from within and outside the organisation to evaluate for employment. According to Bratton and Gold,

Recruitment is the process of generating a pool of capable people to apply for employment to an organisation. Selection is the process by which managers and others use specific instruments to choose from a pool of applicants a person or persons more likely to succeed in the job(s), given management goals and legal requirements (2007, p 239).

Head teachers' recruitment and selection system in England and Wales

In England and Wales, the selection of school leadership employees is the responsibility of the Department for Education and Skills (DfES), which has set standards for their education and development programmes (Huber & Hiltmann, 2010). This Department is initially offering free online recruitment training to head teachers all around the county. …

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