ICAC finds guidelines lacking on hiring, performance assessment, promotions The English Schools Foundation has been told to improve procedures for staff appointments, performance and promotions. The Independent Commission Against Corruption has made 27 recommendations for the beleaguered school group to improve personnel administration across 12 areas. Key points in the report, posted on the ESF website, include improving guidelines on conflict of interest in recruitment and appointments, introducing a performance appraisal system for all staff, laying down explicit promotion criteria and making them known to staff. The commission also supported a foundation decision to replace overseas interviews with video conferencing because the process could be costly and open to abuse. The foundation called in the commission to check management processes to restore confidence after the fiasco over the appointment of executive committee member Mike Haynes as chief executive in the spring. The appointment provoked rebellion among parents because Mr Haynes had been involved in overseeing the selection process. Three executive members resigned in February when their decision to appoint him was overturned by the full executive committee. The foundation revealed that the commission's report had been completed at a press conference yesterday on its new governance structure and the progress of the Audit Commission report due to be published next week. Chairwoman Felice Lieh Mak cited the report as an example of how the foundation had been sorting out problems and improving practices. 'There were numerous occasions of not following due process in appointments,' she said. 'But [the commission] have found that in the past nine months due process has been followed very clearly.' This applied to the appointment of the new chief executive, the education development director and other posts, including school principals and public relations company Golan Harris. The foundation's acting assistant secretary, Chris Forse, said the report was the first of six being prepared by the commission and all would be placed on the website. Christine Houston, who led the parents' battle against the Haynes appointment, said: 'I am happy to hear the ICAC agrees with our parents' group that there should be processes in place to ensure that there are no conflicts of interest. 'But I am shocked that the ESF does not already have in place performance appraisal and promotions criteria and guidelines, especially in a system that has existed since 1967.'