Headteacher board elections: What you need to know

The Tes reports that as the DfE prepares to reveal who will sit on powerful committees overseeing England’s schools system, here are the crucial facts you need to know.

The Department for Education is poised to announce the results of elections to England’s eight headteacher boards (HTBs) before the start of the autumn half-term.

The HTBs are a key part of our education system and help make decisions that will affect schools across the country for generations to come. But despite their importance, they are little known and little understood, so here is a quick run-down of what they do, why they matter, and what to look out for when the election results are published.

What are the headteacher boards?

They were set up in 2014, and their job is to advise and challenge the eight regional schools commissioners (RSCs).

These RSCs are the senior civil servants who make decisions including which schools can become academies, who runs them, what happens if they fail, and which applications to open new free schools are approved. And they have increasing influence over non-academies, too. Under last year’s Education and Adoption Act, they can issue warning notices to maintained schools, and decide the fate of “coasting” schools.

How have the elections been going?

This is the second time that elections for the HTBs have been held, and polls closed on 21 September. The process has not been without concerns, which have led to some people to question its credibility.

Despite a huge rise in the number of academies since the 2014 elections, the number of people who decided to stand has actually fallen. In the North of England, the DfE was only spared the embarrassment of not having enough candidates to fill the places by the fact that all four existing members stood for re-election.

Who sits on them – and how are they chosen? What do people think of headteacher boards? What should I look out for in the election results?

Read the answers Headteacher board elections: What you need to know

Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin

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  1. No reason for anyone but the selfish or gullible to sit on these boards helping to prop up a corrupt system dedicated to turning education into a money-making wheeze for edu-businesses.

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