Leaders Professional Skill Level Descriptors
It is vital that governors have clarified the levels of professional skill that they expect to see for each pay band or pay point in their structure – and recorded this after consultation in their pay and/or appraisal policies.
Our model Professional Skills Level Descriptors for Leaders can be found here. They have also been well received nationally and adopted by several complete local authorities as well as by hundreds of individual schools. They group leadership pay points into three bands – Leader, Accomplished Leader and Expert Leader – and define the minimum levels of skill the governors expect from Accomplished Leaders in 6 key areas – Leading Colleagues & Building Teams, Leading Teaching and Learning, Leading Professional Development, Acting on Evidence, Handling Accountability and Managing Resources. Where governors decide to keep a traditional pay structure with the headteacher on a 7 point range and deputies/assistant heads on 5, they will need to decide at which points in those ranges they expect Accomplished and Expert Leader criteria to be met.
The descriptors set out on the sheet have been developed with schools to be applicable to both middle and senior leaders at any level. It is our experience that some schools will also wish to provide further role specific detail in each of the six areas – eg for TLR1 holders, Assistant Heads or Deputies. Some schools also find it helpful to enable individual leaders to reflect on the priorities for them personally in each of these areas in the year ahead.
Although these expectations will only formally be used to govern pay progression decisions for senior leaders, it is nevertheless reasonable to expect that TLR holders with many years experience should be working at “expert leader” level.