Best practice -
Review Cycles

We have been making available a number of advice articles about the Performance Management review cycle and suggesting ways in which SchooliP helps you achieve best practice.

Performance Criteria

Unions strongly advise that a standard Appraisal Report (or ‘Planning & Review Statement’) is used. This is in essence, what SchooliP is and drastically reduces the paper chase, improves access and is more secure.

An appraisal cycle will usually last a year. It should be clearly stated what ‘success’ looks like in terms of the appraisee’s objectives and observations. These should be as specific as possible so that they can be gauged and all parties agree that they have been achieved (or not), backed by evidence.

If pay progression is appropriate at the end of the cycle, the criteria should be outlined in the School Teachers’ Pay & Conditions Document.

SchooliP allows objectives that stem from whole school and department priorities to be set. The line manager can decide whether they have been met, not met or partially met. Both parties need to agree to the assessment at the end of the cycle, by entering their password. The line manager can further choose to recommend pay progression, or defer it, within the system.

Support, Training & Development

It’s vital that any support or training needs are identified at the initial meeting. This may involve CPD courses, but may well also involve mentoring by a colleague. The approach must be consistent across the school and not at the whim of a line manager offering more favourable support to an individual teacher. Any training must be in the school’s time.

SchooliP allows mentors to be identified, based on data within the system. Although CPD courses can be identified within the system and such courses can be evaluated and costs tracked, in practice it means that ever-tight CPD budgets can be more easily managed.

SchooliP allows stakeholders such as school governors to see select information within the system, although individual teacher data is not revealed.

Monitoring Progress

A standard lesson observation form should be used for all appraisees with universal judgement criteria.

During the cycle, the appraisee should have access to the feedback on lesson observations. If there are any causes for concern, these should be identified; it is also good practice to provide positive feedback. Feedback should be given throughout the cycle, although it does not need to be done formally and it is not considered good practice to hold regular meetings as it can increase bureaucracy and admin.

A standard or school specific lesson observation can be input into the SchooliP system and it can be carried out in real time if a wi-fi or network connection is available. This is accessible by the appraisee and therefore helps remove the anxiety of waiting for a written report. Although the appraiser can grade elements of the lesson, this functionality can be removed if desired.

The blog system within SchooliP removes the need for formal meetings. Appraiser, appraisee and mentors can make comments, upload evidence or support/training materials.

Closing the Review

At the end of the cycle, teacher and line manager should meet to discuss what performance has been made towards the teacher’s objectives. All relevant documentation should be made available to both parties in advance.

The objective of the meeting should be a shared understanding of what was required, what has happened during the cycle and whether objectives have been met.

The Teacher’s Standards must not be used as a checklist; it should be assumed that the teacher is meeting the standards.

If the appraisee is eligible for pay progression, a recommendation should be made based on information collected during the cycle. The appraisee should not be requested to provide further evidence, but may wish to do so. The recommendation should be passed to the Head, for them to pass to the governing body. The Head should not overturn the decision of the line manager.

SchooliP is intended to be used iteratively, with on-going dialogue, removing the need for surprises at the end of the cycle. Everything, including pay progression reporting is transparent and supported by evidence, to both teacher and line manager as well as the Head, SLT and governors. Trends and issues can be identified at a glance and the system can be ‘interrogated’ to get in-depth detail.

Teachers’ Standards can be included in the system and cross-linked to evidence, so that any issues can be easily identified.

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