Leader magazineASCL - Association of School and College Leaders

Classroom observation

ASCL is working to defend the right of headteachers to conduct classroom observations, which has come under fire recently at the teacher union conferences.

The Rewards and Incentives Group (RIG), comprising representatives from the government and the unions which signed up to the social partnership, will be looking at a more formal agreement for classroom observation as part of its overall review of performance management.

Stephen Szemerenyi, ASCL's pay and conditions consultant who sits on RIG, is arguing that classroom observation is even more critical under the new inspection and self-evaluation systems, in which heads are held responsible for knowing the strengths and weaknesses of teaching throughout the whole school.

He is making the case that heads need to have the discretion and flexibility to observe teachers when necessary, especially when there are questions about capability. Without observation, heads will not be able to offer early intervention and give teachers added support in order to boost performance. Observation also forms part of teachers' professional development.

Negotiations within RIG are taking place over the next few months. ASCL will fight hard to achieve this but the other unions are also holding firm on their positions. Please check the e-newsletter for updates.

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