Reviewing and changing the evidence needed in a headteacher performance review

Reflection – Secondary School

What was the issue addressed?
The governing body revised the evidence required in a headteacher performance review and set new targets. This was difficult to do in one meeting with so much paperwork. Also problematic is that revising the guidelines each year means there is no opportunity to compare one year to next.

What happened?
Assistance was sought from the Consortium. This was given but it was difficult to arrange a meeting where all parties could attend and there was enough time to read and discuss.

What lessons were learnt?
New headteacher targets were set but no-one was happy with how long it took to organise, arrange and sort out, also looking at this once a year is not enough. We felt a review should be made mid-point in the year to check on progress or lack of it and why.

Every school will have Performance Management / Professional Development Review policy that sets out the parameters for the performance management / professional development review process of school teaching staff and the headteacher.

Performance management / professional development review provides the school teaching staff with the opportunity to reflect on and assess their practice against the professional standards during the year.

Objectives will be set which will contribute to the school development priorities and strategic planning. The governing body should ensure the timing of performance management / professional development review is linked to the school’s planning year where feasible. It should not be an onerous process. Building this into the school’s schedule of work enables panel members to know well in advance when the process will take place. Above all, it is a supportive process. Further guidance information on how to conduct the headteacher’s performance management / professional development review is available here.

Performance management / professional development review is a continuous process which includes planning, monitoring and reviewing. The panel is made up of at least 2 governors and up to 2 Local Authority representatives, who will agree the objectives, along with the headteacher. The overall discussion, however, will be informed by the progress of the school, prior attainment and the contribution the headteacher makes and has made towards securing school improvement. In addition, discussion will focus on the development and support required, all of which needs to take into account the work life balance of the headteacher.

Once performance priorities have been set, there should be agreement as to how monitoring the headteacher’s performance takes place throughout the year. Monitoring procedures can include a variety of methods, including the head teacher’s practice review and development record; the school development plan; school performance information etc., as well as informal in-year discussions.

It is certainly good practice for relevant paperwork and data to be sent out well in advance of the meeting. This will allow for careful consideration of information and a clear focus on discussion and will help to streamline the meeting.

Governors Cymru Services has produced terms of reference for appraisers.

How does your governing body go about reviewing and setting performance targets for the headteacher?
Do you think it is a good idea that progress against targets are reviewed, and possibly revised, mid-point in the school year?

Have your say…
Have you had experiences similar to these?
What do you think about the situation described?


Add a comment

Contact Us

01443 844532 / 029 2075 3685 [email protected]
Sam MacNamara – 07943 887275 / Jane Morris – 07957 969708