Guidelines of Good Practice for Schools
Heads and the Search Process
The Trustees of NYSAIS
June 1990

These guidelines are offered for highly practical reasons; experience indicates that when they are followed schools benefit and when they are not followed it is to the detriment of the individuals and institutions involved.

Our intent is not to establish rules cast in cement but to develop a sensitive and thoughtful process that will allow an orderly change for all parties. Open and forthright communication is critical within the context of appropriate and thoughtful expectations of all involved in the search process.
  1. Heads who are sought after for another post should inform their present board chair if they decide to explore the opportunity seriously; candidates who are sought after other than the head should notify their head.
  2. Heads who are exploring other opportunities should share their thinking with their board chair and should make a definite commitment to leave in time for a proper search to take place.
  3. Heads intending to leave a school should give the board sufficient time to allow the school to conduct a proper search for a successor. Experience indicates that the search process usually takes at least eight months.
  4. Heads should not feel obligated to search consultants to suggest or comment on candidates from schools other than their own.
  5. Under normal circumstances, names should be suggested or comments made to consultants or to others involved in a search only with the advice and consent of the candidate in question.
  6. Schools should not permit excessive or intrusive visiting by search committees or consultants who wish to question colleagues or students with whom a candidate works. Arrangements for such visits should be made between the candidate and the head or if the head is a candidate, the head and the board chair.
  7. Boards should not inquire of search consultants about replacing their present head without the head's knowledge.

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© 2013 New York State Association of Independent Schools

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17 Elk Street (First Floor)     Albany, NY 12207     Tel: 518-694-5500     Fax: 518-694-5501

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