So, how in our view should schools review performance?
The appraisal process should incorporate a constant ongoing professional and supportive dialogue, celebrating successes and sharing these with the wider school community. These touchpoints should be little and often to capture ongoing evidence and oﬀer support at key points throughout the process.
The emphasis here should be on a process that is very simple, saves time and is accessible to all parties. There is an opportunity here to use mobile technology to capture these communications and facilitate the gathering of evidence. This is something that we see as key for the future of appraisals in schools.
In addition to these regular touchpoints, we also have classroom observations.
Observations are evolving from judgmental exercises with gradings through to a more developmental approach. Either way, observations are seen as a key method of observing teaching practice ﬁrst-hand and this mirrors the process of the inspection teams too.
When determining the success of a performance management process in schools, what is key is the level of training and support that is oﬀered to teachers?
Training and support for staﬀ in schools are usually delivered through INSET days and twilight sessions throughout the year.
- But how strategic is this training?
- Do schools understand what the key areas for improvement are and are they then implementing an eﬀective programme for improvement?
- How well is this training received by staﬀ?
- Do staﬀ have any input and control over their own development?
The crisis we are facing at the moment in schools is that many teachers are leaving the profession. In June 2021, Forbes reported that a “Record One In Six Teachers In England Quit After Just A Year In The Classroom”.
The primary reason for this is due to workload pressures. Although much is being done to improve the work/life balance for Teachers, there is still massive room for improvement. The appraisal process, therefore, does not need to contribute to the workload but needs to be a continuous process and a part of your daily routine.
The appraisal process should be something that is done with you and not to you. It needs to facilitate the process of capturing the professional dialogue between staﬀ and line managers and the supporting evidence.
Our vision originally for SchooliP was to provide better personal outcomes for pupils and staﬀ through joined-up school improvement, staﬀ professional development and self-evaluation. However, we recognise that every school is unique and each has its own set of challenges.
SchooliP supports staﬀ with their own development, helping them to celebrate their achievements with their line manager, and ultimately empowering senior leaders with valuable information about the areas within the school which require improvement. This means less time is spent gathering data and more time is spent utilising their expertise to bring about whole school improvement.
This is the way that we have reimagined performance management but we’re constantly looking for ways to improve too. That’s why I’m very interested to hear others’ thoughts on what they believe is wrong with Performance Management and how they feel it could be improved.