Performance Management

Make performance management easier, faster and more effective

We support teachers, school leaders, governors and education managers to develop and implement best practice staff performance management systems that deliver improved learning.

We have been thought leaders in the field of managing teacher performance and appraisal for more than 15 years. Our approach has been developed and refined based on close collaboration with more than 4,000 schools in the UK and internationally.

It ensures that teachers are simultaneously supported in their professional development and are held accountable for their performance against a clear set of expectations for their level of pay.

Our user-friendly materials (online and paper-based) are in line with Ofsted and the OECD 2013 International Summit on the Teaching Profession and help you:

  • Monitor teacher improvement against standards: Check every teacher’s performance against, for example, national standards and our unique Ofsted teaching-over-time template
  • Easily use triangulation in evaluating performance: Design your own monitoring forms and watch as the system automatically links form content to teaching standards
  • Quickly assess school performance: Show regulators, inspectors and governors how your school has improved over time using pre-defined reports in our report library
  • Reduce admin: Access appraisal records at any time from any computer

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Scroll down to learn more about how we can make it easier to deliver improved teaching.

After 10 years of successful headship in three different schools, I can honestly say this was the most productive performance appraisal ever. I know which data needs to improve, I know the needs of my children and staff, and to be honest, I know the areas of school where I need to give a little more attention.

Anne Heywood, Head Teacher, The Grove Academy, Watford

How we help

Performance Management Training & Practical Advice

Our national conference centre and school network briefing and advice events consistently achieve ‘outstanding’ ratings from delegates.

They cover all aspects of this complex and fast-developing area – the government Ofsted agendas, appraisal for leaders, teachers and associate staff and policy issues.

Our latest course provides advice on getting ready for performance-related pay.

If you would like an electronic copy of our current course programme, email Hazel Flamson.

Teacher Appraisal System & Support Materials

Standards Tracker is our user-friendly online appraisal system that makes it easy for you to prove the link between performance management and efforts to tackle teacher underperformance.

At the click of a button you can monitor teacher improvement against standards, quickly assess school performance and reduce admin associated with performance management. You can watch a video overview and explore the system on the Standards Tracker website.

Staff & Governor Briefings

We provide briefings for individual schools and school networks setting out the changes to appraisal regulations and best practice.

  • UK schools: We help you make the links with the new inspection framework and the government’s developing performance pay agenda
  • Schools internationally: We help you integrate UK best practice into your performance management framework

The briefing can be extended to allow teachers to work in groups on developing fair and realistic professional skill level descriptors or career-stage expectations, in order to prepare for the introduction of performance-related pay.

For governors, we can provide an overview of the changes along the same lines; this session too can be extended to focus in particular on the implications for head teacher appraisal.

Appraiser Training

We offer training for senior leaders and appraisers.

Our sessions focus on the practical details of how they can work together to assess against standards; to decide on the timescales that will apply in planning objectives for underperforming teachers; and to practise the skill of writing pupil-related appraisal objectives with robust and unambiguous success criteria.

Head Teacher Appraisal

With evidence already emerging of Ofsted inspectors asking to see the anonymised head teacher appraisal objectives, it is very important to check that these objectives, too, are related to national standards and focused on improving the quality of leadership.

According to UK regulations:

Effective governance is demonstrated by ‘how well governors use performance management systems, including the performance management of the head teacher, to improve teaching and leadership and management”, impacting upon the quality of outcomes for all pupils.’ Ofsted, September 2012

‘The governing body of a school must appoint an external adviser for the purposes of providing it with advice and support in relation to the appraisal of the head teacher.’  The Education (School Teachers’ Appraisal) (England) Regulations 2012

The governing body should appoint a minimum of two (three are recommended) members of the governing body to act as the Performance Review Panel to review the head teacher.

Our external advisers – all of whom have an Ofsted or SIP background – are specially trained in using our audit materials.

Policy Development

Based on advice from specialist HR professionals and lawyers, we have produced appraisal, capability, absence management and grievance policies which link seamlessly with one another and enable you to deal fairly but swiftly with performance assurance issues.

We work with you to tweak these policies to your particular requirements and can then help you conduct the formal consultation process with trade unions and (for community schools) the Local Authority.

We received counsel’s opinion to the effect that Local Authorities, properly consulted, cannot simply refuse to indemnify schools adopting policies other than their own.

We provide:

  • Fair but robust policies which minimise procedural delay – either standalone or built around your existing procedures
  • Support in handling consultation with staff and trade unions
  • Casework support 

Staffing & Leadership Structure Reviews

Governors are required to keep staffing and leadership structures under review.

There can be several reasons for considering a change:

  • New school priorities require different leadership skills and posts
  • A new curriculum needs a different balance of teaching and associate staff for effective delivery
  • A desire to make efficiency savings by developing a joint staffing and leadership structure across a network of schools

Our mix of education HR and school leadership expertise means that we can offer advice at every stage of your review – from considering alternative structures to drawing up detailed plans and handling consultation with staff and trade unions.

Staffing Reduction Policy

If there’s a possibility you’ll need to reduce staff, either as a result of a staffing review or a budget difficulty, we advise you to look at your staffing reduction policy well in advance.

This ensures you’ll ensure you have a fair process in place that allows you to consider staff performance as part of the decision-making process.

We can help you achieve your objectives either by rewriting your policy or producing a detailed operational handbook to accompany an existing policy.


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