The Spin The Reality
The quotes in this column are from the social partnerunions and other RIG partnersThe comments in this column are based on publishedguidance and briefings to London HTs by the DfES
“Teachers now need an improved system of identifying development opportunities and reviewing career progression.”
HTs have been advised to find ways of slowing down the number getting on to theupper pay scale. [This will already befamiliar to many teachers].
“The revised performance management arrangements are another building block to a confident, empowered teaching profession.”
Middle-managers as reviewers will bemade to decide who progresses throughthe upper pay scales, on top of their teach-ing and learning responsibilities. There willbe friction with HTs who reject a reviewer’sdecision. The reviewer’s workload will rise.
“A more transparent and consistent process will be in place which identifies the objectives set and the support and professional development which will be put in place to support teachers.”
Although the Local Authority will berequired to publish a policy regardingclassroom observations, in reality it may bea constant threat. What will happen if theobservation policy agreed where you workis ignored for some colleagues?
“Our proposals will achieve better plan- ning for performance management at the start of the year, more transparency, fair- ness and consistency in assessments at the end, and help to ensure teachers and head teachers have access to continuous professional development.”
Threshold standards will change. If a UPS3teacher is only ‘satisfactory’ then OfSTEDwill want to know why.
If those already on UPS3 do not continue tomeet the
standards then HTs mayneed to think about capability proceduresas a prelude to redundancy.
“Teachers cannot be held responsible for not meeting objectives if the individual professional support agreed at the begin- ning of the cycle does not happen.”
Is CPD readily available to all the teachersin your school?What will you do if the CPD agreed at thebeginning of the cycle is not fulfilled?
“The amount and level of objectives must be reasonable and achievable within the context of the school, and the individual teacher’s job description and experience.”
There is no upper limit to the number of objectives [targets] that may be set. If HTslet someone get to M6 too easily then theywill expect to go through the threshold.Targets could be set on the “edge of aperformance comfort zone,” choking off access to UPS pay levels.
“The revised performance management arrangements will bring much needed clarity, fairness and transparency to the process. The aim is to develop a culture where those who manage teachers and head teachers engage in a professional dialogue with them, respect them as professionals and make decisions about their work in an open and fair manner.”
The teamwork essential to any school willbe shattered because, like pupils jumpingthrough the SATs hoops, teachers couldspend a great deal of their time doingwhatever is necessary to meet theirtargets.Some may feel professional objectivity willbe overtaken by more partial decisions.Will budget quotas force more negativereviews?
Your guide to the PerformanceManagement Spin
Research on who “won” in the TLR reshuffle has found that...well, can you guess the categories of teachers whoseem to have lost out? They were either black, female, disabled, union activists or carers. The DfES said theywould monitor the outcome of the TLR restructure, but have so far failed to do so. One wonders why...