Reducing Workloads in Multi-Academy Trusts
There is a real danger of delivering performance management for the sake of it. The instances of teachers volunteering targets that they have already achieved for expediency should have long disappeared. Good practice is to link trust development priorities to staff appraisal objectives. This allows wider priorities to be incorporated which fosters an excellent opportunity to achieve the aims, ethos and vision of your trust.
Here we look at a number of ways in which you can reduce bureaucracy and add real meaning to your appraisal processes.
- When agreeing objectives, apply the SMART framework: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timed. This will ensure that the appraisee does not feel overwhelmed by their objectives as they have been agreed with workload in mind.
- Identify ways in which data collection can be centralised to help save staff time in collecting and providing evidence to demonstrate pupil progress and outcomes. This will help to save valuable time on a collective scale.
- Involve staff in assessing their own performance. For instance, the Teachers’ Standards can be used as a means of self assessment to fuel discussion in appraisal meetings. This is far more productive than asking ‘how are you getting on?’ and will ensure that staff take ownership of the process.
- Remember that the workload and preparation of reviewers must also be considered. Ideally they should have similar numbers of staff to review and be given directed time to conduct the reviews. Training can help promote consistency and avoid uncertainty in the process which may cause backlogs.
- Interim reviews are advised to ensure that staff remain on track. Such meetings can be conducted in a relatively short space of time and instil a culture of appraisals being continuous and a means of managing/discussing workloads, not adding to them.
- Delays cause appraisals to lose meaning and credibility. This creates a backlog of work. Therefore, an alternative is to dedicate INSET time to the process. This removes the threat of disruption and elevates the status of appraisals throughout your trust.
- New members of the teaching profession require additional support with assessment, data management, managing behaviour and understanding school policies. This should not just be part of their induction process. This needs to be continuous and integrated into the appraisal process to inspire confidence and reduce pressure.
- A good appraisal process has clear protocols and expectations. Over time this can be fine tuned by asking for feedback from within your trust. This is a means of increasing the efficiency of the process.
Our software SchooliP incorporates the above guidance and creates a robust framework to carry out appraisals. SchooliP is a uniform cloud based system that can be adopted throughout your trust and paper is eliminated. Performance management is given an elevated status and every element of the process is delivered with purpose. From a trust point of view this saves time as it provides a nurturing structure to promote efficiency and reduce workloads.
To find out more about how your trust could benefit from SchooliP, please contact our sales team on 0333 0433 450 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, click here to arrange a demonstration.