This is a key area for governors and one which provokes a considerable number of questions regarding the governing body’s responsibilities.
From 1 September 2012, new regulations apply - The Education (School Teachers’ Appraisal) (England) Regulations 2012. However, the 2006 regulations will continue to apply in relation to performance management and review cycles which are already in progress on 1 September 2012 (although a governing body may decide to curtail any performance management and review cycle in progress when these Regulations come into force)
Under these new regulations, the following existing requirements remain:
The main changes are that under the new regulations:
The new regulations make clear that performance management continues to apply to all teaching staff. While some members of the governing body will play an active part in the review of the performance of the head of school, the responsibility for the performance review of other staff rests with the headteacher (and/or their nominee).
The responsibility of the governing body in respect of staff other than the headteacher, over and above determining the policy and process requirements, is essentially one of ensuring that the performance policy and processes reflect the requirements of the school’s agreed policy, that it is reviewed regularly and that should include an annual report from the headteacher indicating how the process has been undertaken within school.
The Education (School Teacher’s Appraisal) (England) Regulations 2012 applies to teachers and headteachers in maintained schools covered by the School Teachers Pay and Conditions document. Support staff within schools are not covered by the regulations. However, it is good practice also for governors to agree and for the headteacher to implement an appraisal process for non-teaching staff.
A process for assessing the overall performance of a teacher or headteacher, against any standards set at the start of the appraisal period and in future also the Teachers’ Standards which come into force on 1 September 2012, and against their individual objectives, in the context of the individual’s job description, the provisions of the national conditions of employment and making plans for the individual’s future development in the context of the school’s improvement plans.
The new regulations are less prescriptive and contain the following requirements on governing bodies:
The governing body should also:
The governing body makes the appointments and should appoint governors who have undertaken performance management training and who have the appropriate skills. There is no longer any prescription as to the appointment of performance management governors, but two to three governors remains a workable number.
This will be determined by the school’s policy, but it is good practice for heads to be able to object in writing to the governing body of the appointment of any particular governor once in any cycle to the review panel. Any objection should be on the grounds only that the governor is unsuitable for professional reasons.
The governing body should satisfy itself that the reasons submitted by the headteacher seeking the removal of an appointed governor are for professional reasons only and that the reasons themselves are significant. The governing body will then appoint another governor if they accept the head’s objections or may reject the request. In the case of a rejection the governing body should state the grounds for the rejection, in writing.
This will be determined by the school’s policy. Staff should be able to object against the appointment of a reviewer, on professional grounds, in writing to the head. The head should appoint another member of staff if persuaded by the objections put forward or may reject the objections. Where the objections are rejected the teacher should be advised in writing.
The targets and objectives for the headteacher are set by the appointed governors after consulting with the headteacher and the external adviser, on an annual basis as part of the review process. Such targets must be meaningful and achievable, and should reflect the overall development needs and priorities of the school, as well as being aimed at improving the pupil’s education. The external adviser should assist the governing body in establishing targets and objectives in discussion with the governors’ review panel and the headteacher.
Every effort should be made to achieve agreement on the requirements to be placed on the headteacher and only in the last resort should targets be imposed on the headteacher when discussion has failed.
No, these are set by the headteacher and ought to reflect the targets that have been set for the headteacher. The headteacher should be required to report to governors annually on the implementation of performance management within school.
To assist the governors review panel in setting meaningful but achievable targets and in reviewing outcomes. Both the review governors and the headteacher can choose to meet separately with the adviser to discuss the headteacher’s performance and targets before the review meeting. The adviser should attend the review meeting and offer advice and support to governors and can be asked to prepare the first draft of the appraisal report.
The adviser is not responsible for determining a recommendation to the pay committee on whether increment(s) should be paid to the headteacher following the review; this is a matter for the governors’ panel alone. However, governors can ask for advice and should take account of any advice offered.
It is for the governing body to decide who they wish to use as an external adviser, ideally with the agreement of the headteacher.
The process is no longer prescribed by legislation. However, the process for all staff should include:
The procedure and process for a headteacher will mirror as far as possible the process for teachers. The key differences are the involvement of the governing body and the governing body (usually in the form of the review panel) taking advice from an external adviser.
The role of the pay committee is to approve any incremental progression for the headteacher and other staff of the school. The pay committee can be a stand alone committee or this responsibility can be delegated to the finance or personnel committee by the governing body.
The review panel should make recommendations to the pay committee on any increases for the headteacher based on the review of targets and the performance achieved. The headteacher will report to the pay committee and make recommendations on the outcomes of appraisal for other members of the leadership group, post threshold teachers and advanced skills teachers.
Other staff of the school may be referred to the pay committee where any additional payments or benefits are being considered in line with the school teachers pay and conditions document and the schools pay policy. The relevant committee should be given access to the relevant appraisal reports when making decisions on pay.
The pay committee is entitled to determine whether increments are paid or not to the headteacher and other members of the school teaching staff following a review of performance, which are not governed by any national agreement in respect of pay progression.
Unless there are substantial grounds for not doing so, the expectation is that performance that meets the required targets and demonstrates sustained, high quality performance will be recognised by the granting of an increment or increments.
However, once the headteacher reaches the top of the pay range/leadership spine in the school’s group, usually no more pay increments can be made. No more than two pay points can be awarded to the headteacher in any one year/appraisal cycle. An award of two points is often reserved by governors for outstanding performance.
The 2011 School Teachers Pay and Conditions document has made some significant changes to the previous regulations.
The individual school range (ISR) is a seven point pay scale determined by the school’s group as outlined in the school teacher’s pay and conditions document.
The school’s group is determined by the number and age of pupils in the school and, as such, gives a pay range which reflects the normal market rate for the headteacher post at a school of a particular size and pupil profile.
The ISR is set by the governing body (usually when a new headteacher is appointed). Where determined on or after 1 September 2011, the governing body MUST ensure that the ISR does not exceed the maximum of the headteacher group. If necessary, the governing body can change the ISR in order to accommodate the pay scale for a deputy or assistant headteacher post or when the headteacher group changes due to an increase in pupil numbers, e.g. as a result of a federation.
There should be an objective justification for increasing the ISR that relates to the leadership post at the school and not to the individual post holder. It is not enough to justify an increase, simply because a headteacher has requested it or has reached the top of the scale, even if the performance review governors have recommended an increase.
An example of an objective justification is if it would be difficult to attract applicants to apply to a particular school because of its location or circumstances.
If governors do decide to increase the ISR they will need to be able to justify this decision in line with best value principles and the long-term interests of the school.
Additional payments may be made (see paragraphs 48, 49 and 50 of the school teacher’s pay and conditions document) to a headteacher as agreed by the governing body for specific activities, including: continuing professional development undertaken outside of the school day, initial teacher training, out-of-school-hours learning activities, services to additional schools, recruitment and retention incentives, and where the school is causing concern. However, the governing body can only make such payments provided it has not already taken account of such circumstances/criteria when changing the ISR previously.
In addition, the total amount of payments made in any one school year must not be in excess of 25 per cent of the headteacher’s pay point on the leadership spine (the only exceptions are ex-officio residential duties and specific non-monetary personal relocation benefits). The governing body can only exceed this limit in wholly exceptional circumstances and after seeking external independent advice.
reports generated should be treated with confidentiality at all times. However, when governors are making a decision or exercising discretion in relation to pay, or when governors wish to quality assure the operation and effectiveness of the appraisal system they should have access to and regard to the reports..
The sharing of personal/confidential information is governed by the eight data protection principles under the Data Protection Act 1998.
The school’s policy should set out a pay appeals process. Teachers, including the headteacher should be entitled to appeal against any decision by the pay committee not to award an increment(s), where they can evidence that the correct policy and/or process has not been followed or they have been treated unfairly. Such applications should be made through the schools grievance procedure. A new panel of governors - who have not been involved in the review or pay committee process - should be appointed to hear the grievance.
However, teachers and headteachers are not contractually entitled to receive any discretionary payments and the pay committee can exercise their judgement and decide not to award such payments. The pay committee should not attempt to re-visit the review/appraisal process itself but could decide that the appraisal report does not sufficiently evidence that objectives have been substantially met or that there has not been’ sustained high quality performance’ as required by the School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions document.
The school’s policy should set out a review process – for example, the appraisal report could be given to a governor acting as the review officer (usually the chair of governors unless the chair is a member of the review panel) for further deliberation. If the review officer is persuaded that aspects of the review are inaccurate, he or she may require that the statement be reviewed again.
Further information on the new arrangements, including a model appraisal policy can be found on the Department's website.
Information on new arrangements for teacher appraisal, which came into force on 1 September 2012.
Information on teachers' pay and conditions, 2011.