Advice - starting the new
In part 1 of our series of advice articles on the Performance Management review cycle for teachers, we covered the importance of the initial planning meeting and reaching agreement on lesson observations. In this part, we will be providing advice for the appraiser/line manager.
1. Allocating Time
The appraisal process is critical, both for the appraisee and to allow the teaching staff to achieve the school’s priorities. Time should therefore be allocated but cannot be out of hours, in lunch breaks or during PPA time. Leadership & management time may be appropriate. Planning for the next cycle will ideally take place at the same meeting in which the appraisal is given. Meetings should be planned well in advance.
Staff with responsibility for appraisal should be allocated sufficient time, which is not part of their PPA time.
SchooliP supports the discourse between teacher, appraiser and any other relevant parties eg mentors via a private blog system, backed by email alerts.
2. Training the Appraisers
To ensure consistency, appraisers should be briefed by the Head or another member of the SLT, particularly when it comes to addressing training & development needs. A staff member’s appraiser should normally be the line manager and should have appraisal as part of their job description.
SchooliP helps ensure that staff objectives are fed down from the school priorities. A menu approach makes the setting of objectives easy, with the flexibility to add more personal objectives if appropriate. Teachers in need of particular support can by mentored by colleagues with a strength in that area. Both parties can be identified at a glance and if appropriate, ‘buddied up’.
3. Planning the meeting
The manager should bring the appraisee’s job description, the school improvement plan, a copy of the PM policy, a copy of the Teachers’ Standards and a copy of the relevant section of the School Teachers’ Pay & Conditions document. Around three priorities are usually appropriate. These should be clear, measurable and within the power of the teacher. Extra-ordinary factors should be considered eg very large class, disruptive pupils, part time working, disabilities.
SchooliP will contain the school development plan and the Teacher’s Standards. The teacher can clearly see how their own objectives and standards by which they will be measured are consistent and stem from the school’s own priorities. The system also allows performance criteria to be entered so that the teacher can demonstrate how they have met their objectives.
4. The meeting
Appraisers should assume that the teacher is meeting the requirements of their job description and it is not necessary to discuss all aspects of their role in detail. The focus should be on the appraisee’s objectives and their progress towards them. It is not good practice to have too many objectives, unmeasurable objectives or objectives that do not link back to a departmental or whole school priority. They should be achievable and relevant to the teacher’s role.
• Schools should have a lesson observation protocol
• Each observation should have an objective itself
• Three x 1hour observations is a maximum and reduced accordingly for p/t staff
• The observer will usually be the appraiser, but if delegated, they should possess relevant qualifications and reporting/feedback skills.
Next time: Training & Development, Monitoring & Recording