Leader magazineASCL - Association of School and College Leaders

Changes to assessment against threshold

A number of important changes relating to assessment against the post-threshold standards will take effect from 1 September 2009. These have been highlighted in the School Teachers' Pay and Conditions Document (STPCD) 2008 (see especially Annex 4 and paragraph 58 of Section 3). ASCL members might also find the DCSF Threshold Guidance for Round 9 helpful.

ASCL readily acknowledges that it will be extremely difficult to implement these changes effectively in the light of the tight timescale and the lack of earlier notice. ASCL representatives argued vigorously for a deferment until 2010, but, when the issue was referred to ministers, Jim Knight decided under pressure from the DCSF and others, and against our advice, to opt for a 2009 implementation date.

The main changes are set out below:

Backdated pay

The provision to backdate payment for a successful threshold application (currently to be found in paragraph 19.3.2 of the document) to 1 September in the school year in which the application was made will no longer apply. From Round 10 onwards, all teachers who apply and are successful will move to U1 from 1 September of the following academic year (so if a teacher applies in the academic year 2009/10, s/he, if successful, will move to U1 from 1 September 2010).

The complex cohort system will cease to operate at that point. This is the only change that is applicable in Wales - the other changes listed below apply in England only.

Review period

Teachers subject to the 2006 performance management regulations will be assessed against the post-threshold standards solely on the basis of the outcomes of their last two performance management reviews.

Where, however, a teacher is subject to the 2006 regulations but has only had one review under those regulations (for example, absence due to maternity leave for part of the period), a summary of the evidence to be taken into account for that part of the relevant period not covered by the review to demonstrate that the post-threshold standards have been met throughout the relevant period will need to be provided.

Applications

With effect from 1 September 2009, teachers will no longer need to provide separate evidence in support of a threshold application.

Teachers, however, will still be required to make an application to indicate their wish to be assessed against the post-threshold standards. The application must contain:

  • in the case of a teacher subject to the 2006 regulations who has had two or more reviews under these regulations, a statement that s/he wishes to be considered for assessment against the post-threshold standards

  • in the case of a teacher subject to the 2006 regulations who has only had one review under those regulations, a statement that s/he wishes to be considered for threshold assessment and a summary of the evidence relating to that part of the relevant period not covered by the review that demonstrates that s/he has met the post-threshold standards throughout the relevant period

  • in all other cases, a statement that the teacher wishes to be considered for threshold assessment and a summary of the evidence s/ he wishes to rely on in order to demonstrate that s/he has met the post-threshold standards throughout the relevant period

Assessment

When threshold assessment is being carried out, the assessor must have regard only to:

  • in the case of teachers subject to the 2006 regulations who have had two or more reviews, the results of the last two reviews

  • in the case of teachers subject to the 2006 regulations who have had only one review, the results of that review and the evidence mentioned in their application

  • in the case of teachers subject to the 2002 regulations, the results of the most recent appraisal and the evidence mentioned in their application

  • in all other cases, the evidence mentioned in the application

Model application forms will continue to be available on the DCSF website for teachers in Wales who are required to use the form for their application and for those in England who have only had one review under the 2006 regulations.

In view of the late notice of this change, it is highly unlikely that schools will have included any objectives relating to the post-threshold standards in the first cycle (2007-08) under the new regulations. It is, therefore, imperative that in the 2008-09 cycle such objectives are set for those on M6 as from 1 September 2008 to ensure that the outcomes of the review will permit an assessment to be made against the post-threshold standards.

It is also essential both for teachers who are on M4 and M5 at the beginning of the academic year 2008-09 (and their reviewers) to ensure at the planning and review meeting that the performance management criteria will provide sufficient evidence to permit an assessment to be made as to whether the post-threshold standards have been met in the previous two years by the time they apply for assessment.

© 2018 Association of School and College Leaders