To ensure the best outcomes for children and young people, your board or trust is responsible for hiring the best possible executive leader and then holding them to account to ensure they are not only performing effectively but also delivering the best for the school.

Performance management of the senior executive leader is crucial and should mirror the processes the school has in place for encouraging the best from its pupils, teaching and support staff, and the board itself. 

What are the benefits of the SEL Appraisal?

School improvement: Effective staff appraisal and development is one of the most important levers for school improvement and it, therefore, needs to be done well in order for children and young people to achieve their potential.

Effective self-evaluation: boards have a responsibility to conduct their schools so as to promote high standards of education; if there is no formal appraisal, then the picture of the school is incomplete and it will not be possible to set an effective improvement strategy.

Continuing professional development (CPD) for staff: If there is no formal appraisal process, then it is more difficult to determine and arrange appropriate CPD, which again will impact on the standard of education offered.

Good employment practice: The board has a duty of care to its staff, and appraisal is part of any effective organisation’s staffing procedures. All staff deserve to be managed well and, as part of this, to have an effective appraisal which is carried out properly and informs their CPD.

Inspection: Ofsted inspectors will look at the correlation between performance appraisal, pay, and the quality of teaching. The recent revisions to the Ofsted framework have increased expectations in relation to appraisal and governors’ knowledge of the correlation between teaching quality, pupils’ progress and pay progression.

Regulation: In local authority (LA) maintained schools, teacher appraisal is a statutory requirement. There are specific regulations that govern teacher appraisal, but not the appraisal of non-teaching staff. Although these regulations do not apply in academies and free schools, it is still good practice for a board to ensure there is effective staff appraisal.

Pay: The School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions Document (STPCD) requires that pay progression (i.e. movement up a defined scale) for all teachers is linked to performance. In addition, teachers may receive a cost of living pay rise – usually this is entirely separate to performance related pay rises and is applied equally to all members of staff. For local authority maintained schools any cost of living pay rise will be determined by central government through the School Teachers’ Review Body.

NB: Although academies do not have to adhere to the STPCD, many will have staff subject to the Transfer of Undertaking for Protection of Employment (TUPE) and so remain subject to the STPCD. Many others have chosen to follow the STPCD and almost all others will have their own schemes to relate performance to pay.

How does it work?

Governing board utilises the support of a paid professional to ensure the rigour of the process and that outcomes are focused solely on the needs of the trust or school as a whole. 

Boards have for some time requested a service that provided them with the independent external support and advice that they require, but also gives the chief executive or Headteacher the confidence to endorse a consultant in this role.  NGA is now in a position to provide this service.  

 All NGA consultants will have a deep understanding of best practice along with a thorough knowledge of national policy and guidance concerning appraisal and the management of performance, and will be able to analyse and assess the data that informs the measures that will be being reviewed or agreed.  

The NGA approach

The performance of the senior executive leader is the key to the development and delivery of outstanding leadership and management for the school. Performance management is the process by which your board is clear about the longer term vision for the school and how you will hold the chief executive or headteacher to account for leading and managing the achievement of this vision.  Therefore NGA recommends that the board set three objectives:

1. Delivery of the key priorities as identified in the trust or school’s strategy document

2. Compliance with all requirements, be they regulations, or if an academy, the funding agreement, articles of association and Academies Financial Handbook, or other recognised areas of best practice such as safeguarding

3. A defined and supported area of professional development

NGA consultants

NGA has a team of consultants who are properly recruited, inducted and quality assured and a number are experienced in performance management either in the education sector or in another sector where there are similarities in approach.  

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