TIP 1: FOCUS ON TEACHING OVER TIME RATHER THAN OVERALL LESSON OBSERVATION GRADES.
Several schools we have worked with recently have said they are moving away from giving an overall grade for a lesson; preferring instead to give graded feedback on the quality of the individual components of professional practice seen – marking, differentiation, assessment, use of learning assistants etc.
TIP 2: AUDIT SKILLS LEVELS AGAINST THE OFSTED TEACHING OVER TIME DESCRIPTORS AND LOCATE PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT APPRAISAL OBJECTIVES IN THE WEAKEST AREAS.
Large numbers of Ofsted reports over the last two years have left schools with the task of developing more outstanding teaching. The most common cause of failure is that schools have not approached the task scientifically enough; they need to focus on providing support to help teachers turn the areas of their practice that are “only” good into outstanding.
TIP 3: FRAME PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT OBJECTIVES IN A WAY THAT GENERATES CLEAR EVIDENCE OF CLASSROOM IMPACT.
We have found that the audit against the Ofsted Teaching over Time Descriptors helps schools to come up with a very precise definition of a teacher’s professional development priorities. For example, if the priority area is “Is work challenging enough for pupils? Does it meet their individual needs?” identifying the key group of target pupils (e.g. pupil premium) is usually a simple matter. This means that appraisal objectives can be written with regard to named pupils – and makes it much simpler to agree how impact will be assessed.
TIP 4: ADOPT CLEAR EXPECTATIONS FOR DIFFERENT PAY POINTS.
It is impossible to make performance-related pay decisions without having adopted a clear set of expectations for each pay point. This highly simplified version of the Educate Professional Skills Level Descriptors shows the importance of having accurate knowledge of the level of each teacher’s performance against the Ofsted Teaching Over Time Descriptors.
TIP 5: HELP GOVERNORS TO SUPPORT AND CHALLENGE.
Key governors need to receive half termly anonymised reports identifying the impact of work recently undertaken to support underperforming teachers, leaders and students. They also need to be able to explain to Ofsted how they have set appraisal objectives for the Headteacher related to “identified need” and arrived at pay progression decisions based on appraisal outcomes.