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Last reviewed on 3 October 2016
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School types: All · School phases: All

What is the governing body's role in teacher appraisal? This article sets out the main duties placed on governing bodies, and links to the DfE's model policy on teacher appraisal. We also look at the regulations on teacher appraisal in maintained schools.

Governing bodies and appraisal: duties

Key points

  • Governing bodies have a duty to determine the appraisal period that applies to teachers
  • Schools and LAs must have an appraisal policy for teachers and a capability procedure that covers all staff
  • It is good practice for schools to consult staff on the policy and capability procedure

The Education (School Teachers’ Appraisal) (England) Regulations 2012 set out the rules on teacher appraisal in maintained schools.

Regulations 3, 5 and 7 place a statutory duty on governing bodies to:

  • Determine the appraisal period that applies to teachers
  • Adopt a document that sets out the appraisal process for teachers and make that document available to teachers
  • Make sure that headteachers carry out their duties in respect of appraising other teachers

Section 6.5.7 of the DfE's Governance Handbook says:

Academies are free to determine their own appraisal process and may adopt the requirements for maintained schools if they wish.

Governing bodies have additional duties in relation to the appraisal of the headteacher. Another article from The Key has more information on headteacher appraisal.

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Using the Teachers' Standards

The DfE has published standards to be used to assess the performance of teachers in maintained schools.

Governing bodies and appraisal: recommended role

The Governance Handbook sets out governors' responsibilities in relation to appraisal more widely.

Page 76, the handbook says governing bodies will want to:

... scrutinise the content of the school’s draft appraisal policy carefully to make sure that it will support effective appraisal in the school, challenging the headteacher as appropriate.

In particular they will want to be satisfied with:

  • The provision that is made for the appraisal of teacher performance against the Teachers’ Standards and teachers' objectives
  • The arrangements that have been made for classroom observation (there is no annual limit on the amount of observation that can take place)
  • Any arrangements for the head to delegate the duty of managing the performance of teachers to others
  • The appraisal policy and its fair and effective implementation in the school (governors should challenge the headteacher on how objectives and assessments are quality assured and moderated)
  • Appraisal evidence, and how well it informs other decisions in areas such as professional development and pay

The handbook says the school's appraisal policy and procedures should be kept under review and amended as necessary.

How should appraisal inform professional development and pay?

We have produced the following diagram to show how appraisal, continuing professional development (CPD) and pay should inform one another.

Appraisal, CPD and pay - diagram


Summary of the DfE's model policy

The DfE has also published a model policy for teacher appraisal based on the 2012 regulations. While the document is aimed at maintained schools, academies may also find it useful when thinking about their appraisal policy.

Schools and LAs must have an appraisal policy for teachers and a capability procedure that covers all staff

The introduction explains that schools and LAs must have an appraisal policy for teachers and a capability procedure that covers all staff, and that it is good practice for schools to consult staff on these. It adds that the policy:

... has been provided as an optional resource for schools and others to which they can refer as they wish as they review and develop their own policies.

Within the document, bold text is used to denote information that is required by the 2012 regulations.

It includes sections on:

  • Appointment of appraisers for headteachers and teachers
  • Objective setting
  • Lesson observations
  • Development and support
  • Feedback
  • Transition to capability
  • Annual assessment
  • Capability procedure

The model policy has a brief statement on monitoring and evaluation which says:

The governing body and headteacher will monitor the operation and effectiveness of the school’s appraisal arrangements.

More from The Key

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