The key importance of defining expectations for each pay point

The events we have been running for schools and local authorities recently have brought home to us the fact that it is now simply impossible to meet Ofsted expectations in the areas of appraisal, performance pay progression and governance unless governors have agreed clear criteria setting out their expectations for the levels of professional performance they expect to see from teachers and senior leaders on every point of the school’s pay structure. Once this has been done effectively, everything else falls into place.

  • Head teachers can use a fair and appealable audit procedure to determine each teacher’s level of professional performance (Outstanding, Good, Requiring improvement or Inadequate) against the 11 Ofsted Teaching over Time Descriptors and Educate’s 6 Leadership Over Time Descriptors. Standards Tracker is set up to allow this audit process to be conducted electronically – with initial teacher self-assessment only confirmed after senior team scrutiny and, if necessary, further evidence-based meetings with the teacher concerned.
  • Once levels of performance have been agreed in this way – and any consequent appeal to governors dealt with – they can be set against governor expectations for the teacher’s or leader’s pay point so that a clear decision can be made on whether or not the teacher is performing in line with expectations. Every teacher and leader will be either the right or the wrong side of the line. Appraisal objectives can then address the “weakest” areas identified. This is obviously critical for under performing staff, but it’s also a great way of showing inspectors how you are addressing the “identified need” of teachers whose practice is “good” or “outstanding” in each area.
  • Once, this process is complete, it is now possible to provide key governors with anonymised reports – updated half-termly – on the impact of work done through appraisal to address identified under performance by teachers and leaders. Standards Tracker enables these reports to be generated at the touch of a button

Without governors defining expectations for each pay point, none of the above can happen.