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Teacher appraisal: governors' role
Understand how you’re involved in the teacher appraisal process, so you can stay strategic and fulfil your duties effectively.
This article focuses on your role when it comes to teachers’ appraisals. For guidance on headteacher appraisal, see our article.
Your role centres on your school’s teacher appraisal policy
Compared with the headteacher’s appraisal, your role is much more hands-off when it comes to other teachers.
You won’t be setting their objectives or getting involved on a day-to-day level – your headteacher will handle all the practical parts of running appraisals.
Your role is to:
- Make sure your school has a robust appraisal policy in place which minimises the impact on workload
- Scrutinise your school’s draft appraisal policy. You’ll want to make sure it outlines:
- That teachers will be appraised against their objectives and the Teachers’ Standards, and how your school will collect evidence that won’t impact on workload
- Arrangements for classroom observations and that they’re proportionate and sustainable
- Arrangements for the headteacher to delegate performance management of teachers
- Make sure the appraisal policy is being implemented effectively and fairly and challenge the headteacher on how they moderate and quality-assure objectives and assessments
- Make sure appraisal evidence informs other decisions, such as professional development and pay
- Keep the policy under review and amend it when necessary
See pages 94 to 96 of the Governance Handbook.
More support in the pipeline: we’ll be working on a new article ‘How to review your school’s teacher appraisal policy’ – keep your eyes peeled. In the meantime, take a look at this model from the Department for Education (DfE) to get a sense of what will include.
As a governing board you must:
- Adopt and make available to teachers a document which sets out the appraisal process
- Determine the appraisal period
- Make sure the headteacher tells teachers how they’ll be assessed in their appraisal period and sets their objectives
This is outlined in regulations 3, 5 and 6(4) of The Education (School Teachers’ Appraisal) (England) Regulations 2012 for maintained schools.
You’re free to determine your own appraisal process – you might want to follow the requirements of maintained schools (above). This is explained on page 95 of the Governance Handbook.
Questions to ask your school leaders
Ask these questions to check they’ve got their eyes on staff appraisal:
- How do you make sure your teacher appraisal policy doesn’t impact staff workload too much?
- Your school leaders should explain that appraisals don’t entail any additional documentation or require significant additional work from staff
- How do you quality-assure teachers’ objectives and assessments?
- You need to be sure that your school has a system in place to make sure objectives are consistent. This might be a dedicated member of staff or team that will monitor this in practice
- Tell me about how you use the outcomes of appraisals to inform next steps for teachers in terms of development and pay?
- Your school leaders might use anonymised case studies of where the outcome of an appraisal informed a pay decision or continuing professional development (CPD) training
- You want to be sure that appraisals clearly link to wider decisions about pay and development
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