Recruitment and retention policies

See example recruitment policies from schools, and read guidance on what to include in your own.

Last reviewed on 7 September 2023See updates
School types: AllSchool phases: AllRef: 41535
  1. You're not required to have a recruitment and retention policy
  2. You can use a policy to set out your recruitment process
  3. Include details of any recruitment or retention awards
  4. Examples of school policies

You're not required to have a recruitment and retention policy

There's no statutory requirement to have a specific recruitment and retention policy. 

However, you must have a policy setting out your safer recruitment process – this can either be included in your child protection policy, or as a standalone document. 

You can find our model safer recruitment policy in Appendix 2 of our child protection model policy.

If you want to create a recruitment and retention policy, read on for advice and examples. 

You can use a policy to set out your recruitment process

You could include:

Take a look at our step-by-step guide to recruitment for more support. 

Make sure that everyone involved in the hiring process is aware of your policy. You could also make it available to prospective candidates.

Include details of any recruitment or retention awards

If you offer recruitment or retention awards, set out your arrangements. They should be open and transparent, so the process is fair. 

You can also include this information in your pay policy. 

Be aware that you can't award bonuses, and that staff on leadership pay ranges can only be awarded "reasonably incurred" payments for housing or relocation under the School Teachers' Pay and Conditions Document (STPCD) (see page 30). For more details on the statutory rules and union advice, take a look at our article on recruitment and retention awards.

Consider whether a 'finder's fee' is appropriate for your policy

If you'll be asking for recommendations from your colleagues while recruiting, consider the following points before attaching any financial incentive to this:

  • Staff may recommend unsuitable candidates, hoping to receive the finder's fee. Even if these candidates aren't appointed, it could be a waste of your time to review applications and conduct interviews with these individuals
  • If you or other leaders don't feel you have enough money in the school budget to pay the finder's fee, you could be dissuaded from offering the position to a good candidate
  • A finder's fee may not always be considered an appropriate use of public money

A representative from the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) gave us this advice.

Examples of school policies

Primary school

Ash Grange Nursery and Primary School, in Hampshire, has a recruitment and selection policy, which covers:

  • Safer recruitment
  • The advertising, interview and selection process
  • The use of supply staff, volunteers and contractors
  • The employment and promotion of existing staff

Secondary school

Plymstock School, in Devon, uses its trust's recruitment and selection policy. It sets out:

  • The key legislation to follow
  • How job descriptions and person specifications will be reviewed
  • How roles will be advertised
  • The process for gathering references and holding interviews
  • Requirements for pre-employment checks

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