Independent Chair - Poole School Standards Board

Background and Context

Poole Standards Board is a partnership body comprising of the Local Authority and key strategic partners including Poole Schools Association and local Teaching School Alliances, promoting improvement and challenge to Poole schools.

The role of the Standards Board is to set the strategic priorities for school improvement in Poole by reviewing data and evidence about the progress of schools individually and collectively in Poole. It then oversees the commissioning of support and use of all resources to meet these priorities. It regularly reviews the impact of work to support school improvement in Poole.

The Standards Board was established in 2014-15 and its work has accelerated during 2015-16 following an independent review and an external OFSTED inspection of Poole Local Authority. It has recently updated its Terms of Reference (see Annex A) and revised the membership of the Board to ensure it is able to bring a sharper strategic focus to its discussions. As it moves forward into the next year it is looking to recruit an experienced and credible senior leader to take on the role of Independent Chair.

Role of the Independent Chair 

Poole Standards Board is looking to recruit someone with a strong track record of school improvement who has worked strategically across local school systems to design models of school-to-school support and led the development of a school-led self improving system.

The candidate should have experience of working with a wide range of partners including Teaching School Alliances, school-led Partnerships, Multi-Academy Trusts and Local Authorities to develop new ways of working.

We are particularly interested in candidates who are currently, or have recently, acted as System Leaders in roles such as National Leaders of Education.

At this stage in the development of the Standards Board we think it would be preferable if the candidate came from outside Poole, partly to ensure there are no conflicts of interest but also to bring a wider perspective from other areas to work in Poole. As part of the role we would like the person appointed to help build the skills of other Board members so that over time a candidate from Poole or the local area could take on the role of Chair.

Responsibilities of the role

The Independent Chair would be expected to attend half termly meetings of the Standards Board which typically are a two to three – hour afternoon meeting. In addition, a half-day workshop in September each year is held to review progress and set strategic priorities.

The Local Authority would continue to provide secretariat support for the Standards Board and for the Chair, but it is expected the Chair would want to work with all partners to help set the agenda and ensure the right material is available for discussions at meetings.  The Local Authority and other partners would continue to produce the papers and any data for meeting.

The Chair might also want on occasion to attend other meetings locally to meet with and hear directly from other Headteachers not represented directly at Standards Board.

Conflict of Interest


It is important that this role has no conflict of interest undertaking the duties.



We would expect to pay costs and expenses that are line in with national rates for experienced National Leaders of Education.

We have budgeted on the basis of up to 2 days for each half termly meeting, 2 days for the annual September workshop plus 6 additional days to provide the Chair with an opportunity for background reading and discussions with other local stakeholders giving a total over the year of up to 20 days’ support.

We would want to recruit a candidate that was available to support the work of Standards for at least the next two years, with a review point after the first year to confirm it is working for both parties.

If you are interested in undertaking this new and exciting role, please contact Vicky Wales at or by telephone on 01202 262261.