A practical guide for appraisals at your MAT

Overview

Overseeing appraisals is a demanding task. A well thought out schedule can often be derailed by unforeseen circumstances. Competing demands exist within school life and there is a danger that appraisals do not receive the attention that they deserve. Being a multi-academy trust enables a standardised approach to be formulated and for the process to be given real gravitas.

A harmonious approach will mean that consistent policies, standards and procedures can be adhered to. It is essential that the importance of the appraisal process is communicated to staff. It is a real opportunity to drive improvement and it should be integrated into development plans and self evaluation. This will ensure collective benefit which is the underlying purpose of all multi-academy trusts.

Factors to Consider

When devising or fine tuning your appraisal policy it is important that you consider the following factors:

  • The timings of the appraisal process
  • Scheduling interim reviews
  • Identifying your team of appraisers
  • Appraisal training
  • Overall and individual objectives
  • Use of the teachers’ standards
  • Gathering supporting evidence
  • Lesson observations
  • Development opportunities
  • Pay progression
  • Legal requirements
  • Arrangements for non-teaching staff
  • Support channels
  • Review process

Much of the above relates to preparation. Effectively planning your appraisal process will enable you to devise a system that is efficient, fair and has real value for developing your staff. Some trusts utilise actual INSET days to elevate the status of staff appraisals which helps to avoid any scheduling conflicts.

Objectives

Objectives are a primary focus for any performance management review. Every teacher should be set objectives that contribute to the plans for improving the trust's/school's educational provision. Objectives should be relevant, appropriately challenging for individual teachers and be discussed during an interim review. They should also link to the trust/school improvement plan. It is important to acknowledge the wider picture and to ensure that there is a clear success criteria in place for all objectives.

Assessing performance and awarding performance-related pay

The achievement of objectives is a basis for assessing performance. However, it is important to consider how challenging the objectives were when awarding pay progression. Your pay policy will set out the basis on which pay is determined and a clear appeal procedure must also be in place. Your trust will already have this; however, policies must be reviewed and updated regularly. All statutory law must be taken into account by your human resources department and it is important that your staff have confidence in this process.

Outcomes

We advise you to consider the purpose of the appraisals. They allow staff to consider their performance and aspirations, how they can improve and the means to secure such improvement. If executed effectively, the appraisal process leads to better performance which will benefit your pupils. For instance, specific improvement in behaviour management and lesson planning will enable your pupils to make stronger academic progress. Therefore, the appraisal process is incredibly powerful in helping to achieve tangible outcomes.

Software - SchooliP

We appreciate that you are likely to already have the points espoused in this article already in place at your trust. However, we ask you to consider how you can maximise the impact of appraisals. Our performance management software SchooliP is the simplest and most effective way to manage teacher and staff appraisal in schools.

Our centralised approach to appraisals means that trustees, board members and executive heads are able to take advantage of our MAT view. This serves as an effective monitoring tool for overseeing performance. Also, our unique mobile app allows teachers to quickly gather evidence for their appraisal. SchooliP allows non-teaching staff to be appraised and our comprehensive approach to appraisal is proven to drive MAT improvement.  

To find out how SchooliP could benefit your multi-academy trust, please do get in touch. We currently support 61 multi-academies trusts. Our team of sales representatives can be contacted on 0333 0433 450 or info@derventioeducation.com. Alternatively, click here to arrange a demonstration.

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