Over the autumn term thoughts inevitably turn towards, the Christmas play at the end of term, as well as the end of year performance reviews for both teachers and heads. Performance Management, done well, is a supportive and developmental process. It should be designed to ensure that all teachers are able to demonstrate how they contribute to pupils’ learning but also to the wider school performance targets, as well as demonstrating how they, as professionals, meet the teacher standards.
However, we all know that performance management is an ongoing process that should happen throughout the year, not just at the end, and will include regular meetings looking at objectives, progress towards them, development plans and learning opportunities.
Regular, effective feedback about performance, if carried out correctly, is a motivational tool that helps to identify individual strengths as well as areas for development. It give colleagues an opportunity to hear and exchange views and opinions away from the normal pressures of work.
Performance management can include observation of classroom practice and looking at evidence of the impact of other responsibilities gaining useful information which can inform school improvement more generally and enabling teachers to learn from each other.
It is worth at this point bearing in mind the recently published DfE letter referencing their revised Guidance on Pay and Teacher Appraisal which clarify that performance management objectives and discussions should not be based on teacher generated data and prediction or solely on assessment data for a single group of pupils.
So, our five top tips for effective performance management are:
- Regular, structured meetings throughout the year
- No surprises
- Types of data used should be carefully considered
- Clear objectives that support the school’s improvement ambitions
- Honest conversations