Leader magazineASCL - Association of School and College Leaders

New performance management regulations

Members should be aware that new draft performance management (PM) regulations have been agreed by the Rewards and Incentives Group. ASCL has been represented in RIG - which includes the government and other unions in the social partnership - very ably by our Pay and Conditions Consultant Stephen Szemerenyi.

The draft regulations and guidance have been issued for consultation. The deadline for responses is July 19. If the proposals are accepted, schools are likely to have to revise their performance management policies.

The new regulations would come into force from 1 September, but would only apply for pay purposes from 1 September 2007. Assessment for pay progression as from 1 September 2006 would be under the existing regulations, but planning for the 2006-07 PM cycle and setting of objectives would be under the new regulations.

In the proposed regulations, performance management reviews would cover totality of performance. The review of totality of performance will serve as the basis for pay progression recommendations - the head will not be able to use other evidence at that point and should pass the recommendation unchanged to the governing body.

There would not be a limit on the number of performance objectives nor would any specific item be required to be included as an objective (as now for improving and developing professional practice and pupil progress).

The objectives should be such that, if achieved, they contribute to improving pupil progress. Success criteria would have to be specified at the outset for each objective.

Reviewers are likely to need additional training to prepare them for their revised roles in order to help them carry out the process fairly and consistently. In cases where objectives are insufficiently taxing or do not reflect the provisions of the school's performance management policy appropriately and could lead to unfair outcomes between teachers with the same roles and responsibilities, the head will be able to intervene at the outset to amend the planning statement to ensure consistency and equity across the board.

The revised professional standards will serve as the backdrop to the reviews and the following essential documents should be used to inform planning:

  • job descriptions

  • the pay progression criteria in the STPCD

  • any school improvement priorities

  • the school's PM policy

Consideration should also be given to what might reasonably be expected of any teacher in that position, the work/life balance of teachers at the school and the reviewee's long-term career aspirations.

There should be two copies of the statement - one for the head and one for the reviewee. Those with line management responsibility for the reviewee (if additional to the reviewer) may have access to the head's copy.

Teachers are able to appeal against the statement once at any one review, either regarding the assessment of performance or the objectives. In the event of disagreement about, for example, a teacher's objectives, the reviewer's decision would be final.

Classroom observation

The Rewards and Incentives Group has also published draft regulations on classroom observation. If approved, these will also come into effect from September.

In RIG meetings, ASCL argued from the outset that there should be no limit on the number of hours of classroom observation - a very different position from that of the classroom unions. However, all parties recognise that compromise is part of social partnership and in the end it was agreed that three hours per year should be the normal maximum for classroom observation.

Importantly, peer observation and drop-in observation by the head and/or leadership group members with responsibilities for quality assurance of teaching and learning do not count toward the three hours.

Where concerns appear during the three hours or during drop-in observation that are serious, but fall short of capability, additional non-limited observation can be triggered. Classroom observation should be proportionate (not all teachers will need three hours).

It was agreed that observation should be multi-faceted and capable of meeting, for example, self-evaluation and school improvement requirements. In order to assure the quality of classroom observation, schools will be required to produce a protocol.

ASCL will publish further guidance on performance management and classroom observation in the autumn. For a copy of the guidance, visit www.dfes.gov.uk/consultations

© 2017 Association of School and College Leaders