A critical analysis of the inclusivity of primary headteacher job advertisements

Helen Hooper*, Anna Malika, Alexandros Angelopoulos

*Corresponding author for this work

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Previous research demonstrates the specific wording employed in recruitment materials can impact on an applicants perceived fit with the role being advertised, their inclination to apply and has included analysis of the effect of different text on under-represented groups. However, little research has explored the recruitment materials for specific roles, such as headteachers. A review of job advertisement research was used to synthesis a framework for the critical analysis of UK primary headteacher recruitment materials, a highly relevant area for exploration given the persistent lack of diversity in teaching leadership. This research concludes that primary headteacher recruitment materials are not inclusive as they do not explicitly encourage nor support diversity of appeal or engagement with recruitment processes, and has surfaced considerable scope for enhanced practice. No (0) job advertisements contained: job-sharing/flexible working opportunity; relevant employee benefits, for example, tax-free childcare; or a diversity statement/positive action initiative. Diversity is further undermined via inconsistent and unrealistic expectations in both person specifications and job descriptors. Highly inconsistent applicant packs and wide variation in advertised salary bands were unexpected findings that suggest a ‘cottage industry’ approach to primary headteacher recruitment and underpin recommendations for developing good practice and writing inclusive teaching leadership advertisements.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
JournalEquity in Education & Society
Early online date10 Jan 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 10 Jan 2024

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