How appraisal or PM works

The performance management system for teachers in England is changing from 1 September 2012. The process will now be referred to as appraisal and is governed by the Education (School Teachers' Appraisal) (England) Regulations 2012.

There is no need for existing policies and practices to change. However there are now a number of new documents available for members and schools that wish to update policies:

You can read on for information about the current arrangements, and for general information about PM arrangements across the UK and in FE and sixth form colleges.

General advice

The PM process is carried out within the context of the individual's job description and the provisions of the School Teachers' Pay and Conditions Document (STPCD) in England and Wales.

The aim is to make a plan for the individuals' future development in the context of the school's own improvement plan.

Arrangements for performance management in schools and colleges should be consistent with the principles and practice of equal opportunities and the legislative requirements and duties which apply to schools and local authorities.

Educational establishments need to ensure that their individual arrangements are managed effectively, transparently and fairly, and applied consistently. The Rewards and Incentives Group (RIG) has published a model policy for schools and colleges and guidance with the aim of ensuring this.

ATL has also produced a range of helpful resources. These include:

Classroom observation

ATL does not believe that the new performance management system should lead to an increase in the number of classroom observations that members are subjected to. For details, see ATL's factsheet on classroom observation.

The RIG model policy on performance management includes a protocol for classroom observation.

Maintained schools in England

Professional standards provide the backdrop to discussions about performance and future development. The standards define the professional attributes, knowledge, understanding and skills for teachers at each career stage.

Maintained schools in Northern Ireland

In Northern Ireland, performance management takes place under the performance review and staff development scheme (PRSD). It applies to all qualified teachers, other than teachers participating in induction and early professional development.

Each school has a legal responsibility to adopt a PRSD policy in accordance with the scheme and within the context of the school development plan. It is also the duty of the board of governors to ensure that training and development needs that are identified through PRSD are reflected in the school development plan and that corresponding opportunities for professional development are made available to all teaching staff.

Please read ATL's guide to PRSD for detailed information about how the process works.

Maintained schools in Wales

Performance management in Wales is based around the School Teacher Appraisal (Wales) Regulations 2002.

The Regulations provide for the appraisal of the performance of school teachers (including unqualified teachers) at community, voluntary and foundation schools with the exception of those employed in non standards settings, centrally employed teachers, those employed with contracts of less than a year, nursery teachers, teachers in pupil referral units and peripatetic teachers.

The Welsh Assembly Government has decided to extend the current regulations to include those teachers not statutorily covered. Regulations and guidance will be updated and revised in time for the beginning of the 2009/10 school year, and made available to all headteachers, governors, advisors and teachers.

Sixth form colleges

A framework setting out in detail how performance management should operate in sixth form colleges has been produced jointly by the unions and employers.

Teachers on the main scale should be set objectives as appropriate that indicate that they are working towards professional standards payments (PSP) standards.

Evidence from annual reviews can be used to support either the award of accelerated increments or be taken into account for established procedures for the consideration of the withholding of an increment where service is deemed not to be satisfactory. Colleges need to consider the support necessary to assist the member of staff to meet the necessary objectives.

Teachers on the professional standards payment scale will be expected to demonstrate the substantial and sustained maintenance of PSP standards, which must include the following:

  • classroom observation

  • professional characteristics

  • retention and achievement.

  • Teachers at management level will have their performance as managers assessed in addition to the assessment of their performance against the PSP criteria.

Within this framework, four areas of management responsibility should be considered:

  • managing people

  • managing resources

  • team achievement

  • planning and managing change.

Further education agreements

ATL and the national employers' body (the Association of Colleges) have a national guideline agreement in place for performance management arrangements in colleges and FE institutions.

Need further advice?

Your first point of contact is your ATL rep in your school or college. Your local ATL branch is also available to help with queries, or you can contact ATL's member advisors on tel: 020 7930 6441 or email us. Please have your membership number to hand when telephoning and include it with any correspondence - this will help us to answer your query more quickly.


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