[Skip to content]

NAHT - For Leaders, For Learners
Search our Site
Advice button

The role of the External Adviser

There is a statutory duty on the governing body to appoint an external adviser for the purpose of providing it with advice and support in relation to the appraisal of the head teacher (Regulation 4 of the Education (School Teachers’ Appraisal) (England) Regulations 2012).  Possible sources of external advisers could include education consultants, school link advisers or people previously employed as external advisers/SIPs.  There is no requirement to buy in such advice from the LA.  It is for the governing body to determine who they wish to use as an external adviser, ideally with the agreement of the head teacher.


It is particularly important when securing the services of an external adviser that the governing body finds a person with the relevant skill set, including sound judgment, good analytical skills, knowledge and understanding, as well as relevant personal qualities.  The following link gives an overview of the role of the external adviser and a breakdown of what those skills might look like:




The external adviser should use available evidence to advise the governors’ review panel in setting meaningful but achievable targets and in reviewing the outcomes.  


The work of the external adviser will normally include: 

  • reading, reviewing and analysing documents supplied, and giving written advice to the appointed governors, which reviews a head’s progress against objectives and suggests areas for future objectives;


  • holding pre-review meetings with the head and with the appointed governors attending the review meeting and carrying out agreed functions;


  • carrying out any agreed post-review work.


Although the external adviser can give a professional judgment that, as a result of the appraisal, it might be appropriate for the governors to award performance points, it is the governing body’s responsibility to decide on the pay of the head teacher taking account of paragraph 6.2(b) of the School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions Document 2013. It is not within the external adviser’s remit to advise the governing body on the determination of the Individual School Range, nor to advise on the pay of any other leadership group member.





Page Published: 02/09/2013