The importance of appraisals in schools

The importance of appraisals in schools

Andy Goodeve  Andy Goodeve
October 2021

The goal of a school staff appraisal is to create a thorough yet supportive and developmental process that ensures all staff have the skills and support they need to carry out their role effectively. This process helps to ensure that staff can continue their professional practice and improve, because successful, quality staff ensure positive outcomes for pupils/students.

Everyone has a desire to improve, and for school staff this is no different. The performance management process should be viewed as a positive and should not be confused with capability, which only applies to your staff’s performance if there are serious concerns that the performance management process has been unable to address. This confusion between performance management and capability has led to a reluctance of staff to engage in the process, with many feeling that it is about the Government and schools trying to do something about weak, underperforming teachers.

Successful performance management – which has been rebranded positively as ‘appraisal’ – is about creating a school culture of openness, collaboration, self-evaluation and a desire to improve: a culture where staff can visit colleagues’ lessons and watch how they teach subjects rather than form filling and writing reports. This creates an environment in which everyone has something good they can share with all other staff.

Other benefits include the development of personal and managerial communication skills; the opportunity to negotiate relevant targets that would help improve the school, and the satisfaction of helping a colleague to develop.

Successful appraisals focus on future development and action. While it’s good to reflect on what has and hasn’t worked well, the appraisal should also focus on the successes of the staff member and what they can do, moving forward, to achieve their objectives and contribute towards the school’s priorities. Transparent mid-term appraisals show the progress made towards the end goal, helping to identify any areas for development. This leads to a successful appraisal, which, where appropriate, can be linked to pay progression. And it is this reflection and planning that motivates staff.

Successful appraisals with SchooliP

The SchooliP solution effectively manages an appraisal by allowing full transparency, reviewing information easily, and highlighting areas of success, what worked well and any areas that can be developed and improved.

SchooliP seamlessly links appraisal, professional development. Department for Education’s workload toolkit ‘collect once, use many times’ approach and avoids repetition and subsequent time-wasting, allowing staff and leaders to become more focused and efficient.

Making the process more efficient and reducing the time required to complete tasks is more cost effective and, therefore, makes financial gains for schools.

The data dashboards easily summarise appraisal – the progress and areas of development for individual teachers, line managers, head teachers and chief executive officers in schools and multi-academy trusts – and the professional development and improvement planning data is easily collated, analysed and reported for a range of audiences.

With the employee’s future development in mind, both the staff member and the line manager can easily formulate an achievable development action plan – including timed actions – that can facilitate the growth and development of the staff member and contribute to school improvement, leading to improved outcomes for pupils/students.

Getting in Touch

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