In our self-improving school system, most schools are committed to continually reviewing and evaluating their…
Good school leaders recognise that gathering evidence to support the performance management process should, most importantly, build an individual’s confidence in their development and achievements. It should also:
- be simple, not be bureaucratic and increase workload; and
- point towards areas that need further development and/or support.
Some objectives will come about as a result of the school’s development priorities for the academic year, but they should still be tailored to the ongoing development of the individual, helping them to build their knowledge and experience for the benefit of their pupils.
Schools need to have formal reviews at the end of each annual cycle to formally record achievement against objectives, which then feeds into pay reviews. Before then, interim or ad hoc reviews can be carried out, and the frequency and formality of these differs from school to school. Time is precious and best spent on pupils, therefore any such meetings should be kept short and focused.
Evidence gathering needs to be:
- part of school life and not a major exercise conducted separately;
- a continuous process, little and often;
- formal (lessons plans, lesson visits, work scrutinies, etc.) and informal (emails, pupil and parent feedback, staff interactions); and
- multi sourced, not just by line manager or the individual, but by other staff, parents, pupils, school advisers, Ofsted inspectors, and so on.
The school needs to have an easy to use system that allows both the individual and line manager to store, review and collate evidence.
A few points to think about:
Development focus is the key
The individual and their line manager should constantly be thinking what next? This will be about subject knowledge, teaching skills and career development. All of this needs to feed into the school’s CPD plans.
Don’t become hung up on evidencing just this year’s objectives
Performance management is about rounded development for the good of the individual and their pupils. Consider including some form of 360-degree review of the individual’s skills, either against the teacher standards or a wider set of criteria. This has the advantage of not simply looking at the next 12 months, as objectives do, but of looking at how teachers have developed over time.
Our 360 Review module can be used to conduct both self and peer reviews against the Teachers’ Standards and any reviews completed can be compared to see progress over time and/or variation between departments.
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Curriculum has returned to the centre of all we do in school
What we intend to teach, when and how. Many schools have moved towards the Ofsted Deep Dive approach for evidence gathering with perhaps a separate monitoring system for individual performance management. Evidence about the development of the individual has to draw from both processes. CPD around the delivery of the curriculum will peak over the next couple of years.
Our online tool, Lessons Learned, has separate modules for collating and analysing evidence prepared for individual appraisal and department review. Everything is accessible using the same login, so the evidence you need is never more than a click away.
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Capability issues arise for a very small percentage of teachers
Our core performance management processes should not be designed to cope with them placing inappropriate processes on all staff. Capability processes need to be clearly defined and separate to performance management.
Easily Collate Your Performance Management Evidence with Lessons Learned
Our online tool, Lessons Learned, can be used to record, store and review performance management objectives for everyone in your school. Evidence in the form of Word documents, PDFs, images and more can be uploaded against each objective by either the appraiser or the person being appraised, allowing both parties to track progress in between appraisal meetings.
It can also be used to conduct self-evaluation against the Teachers’ standards, with further opportunity to upload evidence against each standard to demonstrate how each one is being met.
Book your free online demo of Lessons Learned today via our website or by calling 0800 788 0555.