Our Lady Seat of Wisdom Umbrella Trust - Appraisal policy

Company number 8180450

Policy for appraising teacher and support staff Performance


This policy sets out the framework for a clear and consistent assessment of the overall performance of teachers, including the head teachers, and for supporting their development within the context of the schools’ plans for improving educational provision and performance, and the standards expected of teachers. This policy should also be read in conjunction with the schools’ pay policy which contains more detailed information on the links between teacher performance and pay.

Application of the policy

This policy sets out the framework for a clear and consistent assessment of the overall performance of teachers, including the head teachers, and for supporting their development within the context of the schools’ plans for improving educational provision and performance, and the standards expected of teachers. This policThis policy, which covers appraisal, applies to the head teachers and to all teachers employed by these schools , except those on contracts of less than one term, those undergoing induction (i.e. NQTs) and those who are subject to the schools’ capability policy.y should also be read in conjunction with the schools’ pay policy which contains more detailed information on the links between teacher performance and pay.

The policy also applies to support staff within the schools (except the links with pay).


Teaching, as a ’work of love, requires a radical commitment and service from all teachers, whatever their faith and whatever point they have reached on their spiritual journey: “The Church looks upon you as co-workers with an important measure of shared responsibility. To you it is given to create the future and give it direction by offering to your students a set of values with which to assess their newly discovered knowledge...[The changing times] demand that educators be open to new cultural influences and interpret them for young pupils on the light of Christian faith. You are called to bring professional competence and a high standard of excellence to your teaching ...But your responsibilities make demands on you that go far beyond the need for professional skills and competence...Through you, as through a clear window on a sunny day, students must come to see and know the richness and joy of a life lived in accordance with Christ’s teaching, in response to his challenging demands. To teach means not only to impart what we know, but also to reveal who we are by living what we believe. It is this latter lesson which tends to last the longest.”

These schools recognise the challenge for all teachers 1 in carrying out their ‘work of love’ and are committed to nurturing them throughout their professional careers. Support staff can also make a significant contribution to a child’s education and to their spiritual journey.

Appraisal in the schools will be a supportive and developmental process designed to ensure that all teachers and support staff have the skills and support they need to carry out their role effectively within the context of the schools’ ethos. It will help to ensure that staff are able to continue to improve their professional practice and to develop as teachers and support staff. It will also ensure for teachers that the links between pay and performance are clear, explicit and transparent with decisions related to the award of performance related pay being made in a fair , consistent and objective way in line with the schools’ pay policy

Arrangements for appraisal should ensure that teachers and support staff can be secure in the knowledge that their progress and commitment are acknowledged. Appraisal is a time to celebrate achievement wherever possible, as well as for discerning where there is scope for development. Challenge is at the heart of the Gospels. Christ challenged all whom he encountered, each according to their needs and readiness.

The Governing Bodies are committed to ensuring consistency of treatment and fairness in the operation of performance management as Catholic schools and our belief in the dignity of the individual. This performance framework offers opportunities to ensure justice for teachers, support staff and pupils alike. It has the potential for the expression of Christian qualities, such as honesty, self-knowledge, respect for others and their gifts, recognition of the needs and achievements of others, challenge of self and others, personal growth and openness.

The Appraisal Period

The appraisal period will run for twelve months from September to August for all except the head teacher, whose period will run from November to October.

Teachers and support staff who are employed on a fixed term contract of less than one year will have their performance managed in accordance with the principles underpinning this policy. The length of the period will be determined by the duration of their contract.

There is flexibility to have a longer or shorter appraisal period when teachers or support staff begin or end employment with one of these schools

Christ at the Centre – A summary of why the Church provides Catholic Schools – Birmingham Diocesan Schools’ Commission

Appointing Appraisers

Each head teacher will be appraised by the Governing Body of his/her school , supported by a suitably skilled and/or experienced external adviser who has been appointed by the Governing Body for that purpose.

The external adviser must be familiar with the particular needs of Catholic voluntary aided schools, for instance the development of the schools’ ethos. Each Governing Body may also consider seeking advice from another external adviser, for instance from the diocese.

The task of appraising each head teacher, including the setting of objectives, will be delegated to a sub-group consisting of two/three members of the relevant Governing Body.

Normally the headteacher will appraise other leadership team members, any lead practitioners and Upper Pay Range(UPR)teachers with other appointed appraisers appraising Main Pay Range(MPR )teachers ,any unqualified teachers and support staff . However, it will be for each school’s headteacher to determine who the appropriate appraisers are for each member of staff

All appraisers are expected to explore the alignment of objectives within each school’s priorities and plans, working at all times in the context of the schools ‘Catholic ethos and aware of the need to ensure that it is developed and maintained.

Setting Objectives

Objectives should reflect the Catholic identity and mission of the schools and the values they proclaim.

Each head teacher’s objectives will be set by the Governing Body after consultation with the external adviser.

Objectives for each teacher and member of support staff will be set before, or as soon as practicable after, the start of each appraisal period. The objectives set for each teacher and member of support staff, will be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timebound (SMART) and will be appropriate to each employee’s role and level of experience. For teachers it is expected that appraisal objectives will be progressive and developmental to allow good and outstanding teachers to progress to the maximum of their pay ranges . The appraiser and employee will seek to agree the objectives but, if that is not possible, the appraiser will determine the objectives. Objectives may be revised if circumstances change. Objectives for support staff may relate to the specific pupils they are working with or specific provision for a group of pupils within the school. The objectives set for each teacher will, if achieved, contribute to their school’s plans for improving the school’s educational provision and performance and improving the education of pupils at that school. They should be such that, if they are, they will contribute to improving the progress development and well-being of pupils at the school. Pupil progress is to be understood in relation to the Catholic nature of the school and include spiritual, moral and social development of each pupil.

The achievement of objectives will also form part of the appraisers’ decision making process when considering their recommendation on the award of any pay progression for teachers related to performance. Decisions on the pay progression will be based on an assessment of the overall performance of a teacher. Thus evidence that will be discussed with a teacher as part of the annual performance cycle and considered by the appraiser when making pay recommendations will include pupil progress data, the quality of teaching against the Teachers Standards 2012(as amended from time to time) which will include including lesson observation evidence, teacher self-assessment , professional dialogue, received feedback from other agreed witnesses , the appraisal statement(s) and CPD records.

In setting and reviewing objectives for the head teacher and other teachers in a Catholic school, the following principles should be considered: justice for all, the needs of the whole person, respect for the individual and the community and the preferential option for the poor.

Before, or as soon as practicable after, the start of each appraisal period, each teacher will be informed of the standards against which that teacher’s performance in that appraisal period will be assessed. All teachers should be assessed against the set of standards contained in the document called “Teachers’ Standards” introduced in September 2012. Each head teacher will need to consider whether teachers should also be assessed against other sets of standards published by the Secretary of State that are relevant to their specific post .

Reviewing Performance


The schools believe that observation of classroom practice and other responsibilities is important both as a way of assessing teachers’ performance in order to identify any particular strengths and areas for development they may have and of gaining useful information which can inform school improvement more generally. All observation will be carried out in a supportive fashion. Please see the appendix guidance on Observation for more details.

In each school teachers’ performance will be regularly observed but the amount and type of classroom observation will depend on the individual circumstances of the teacher and the overall needs of each school. Classroom observation will be carried out by those with QTS. In addition to formal observation, head teachers or other leaders with responsibility for teaching standards may “drop in” in order to evaluate the standards of teaching and to check that high standards of professional performance are established and maintained. The length and frequency of “drop in” observations will vary depending on specific circumstances. Please see the appendix guidance on Observation for more details.

Teachers (including the head teachers) who have responsibilities outside the classroom should also expect to have their performance of those responsibilities observed and assessed.

Support staff who work in the classroom with pupils will also be observed as part of the lesson observation schedule and specific interventions with pupils may also be observed.

Development and Support

Appraisal is a supportive process which will be used to inform continuing professional development. The schools wish to encourage a culture in which all teachers and support staff take responsibility for improving their teaching and/or professional practice through appropriate professional development. Professional development will be linked to school improvement priorities and to the ongoing professional development needs and priorities of individual teachers and members of the support staff


Teachers and support staff will receive constructive feedback on their performance throughout the year and as soon as practicable after observation has taken place or where other evidence has come to light. Feedback will highlight particular areas of strength as well as any areas that need attention. Where there are concerns about any aspects of the teacher’s or member of support staff ‘s performance the appraiser will meet the teacher or member of staff formally to:

  • give clear feedback to the teacher /member of staff about the nature and seriousness of the concerns;
  • give the teacher/member of staff the opportunity to comment and discuss the concerns;
  • agree any support (e.g. coaching, mentoring, structured observations), that will be provided to help address those specific concerns;
  • make clear how, and by when, the appraiser will review progress (it may be appropriate to revise objectives, and it will be necessary to allow sufficient time for improvement. The amount of time is up to each school but should reflect the seriousness of the concerns);
  • explain the implications and process if no – or insufficient – improvement is made.

When progress is reviewed, if the appraiser is satisfied that the teacher or member of staff has made, or is making, sufficient improvement, the appraisal process will continue as normal, with any remaining issues continuing to be addressed through that process.

Links to Pay

When progress is reviewed, if the appraiser is satisfied that the teacher or member of staff has mDetailed information of how headteacher and teacher performance links to pay and how pay decisions will be made is contained with the schools’ pay policy . Pay progression for all teachers will be linked to an assessment of their performance in line with this policy and in line with the pay policy. The pay policy includes clear details of the levels of teacher performance that will result in pay progression and in no pay progression.ade, or is making, sufficient improvement, the appraisal process will continue as normal, with any remaining issues continuing to be addressed through that process.

The governors are clear that it will be teachers whose teaching is consistently good and outstanding that will progress more quickly to the top of their ranges . Teaching that is judged to be inadequate or requiring improvement will not result in any pay progression.

Definitions of outstanding, good, requires improvement and inadequate are contained within the schools’ pay policy.

Transition to Capability

If the appraiser is not satisfied with progress, the teacher or member of support staff will be notified in writing that the appraisal system will no longer apply and that their performance will be managed under the capability procedure. The capability procedures will be conducted in accordance with the capability policy and procedure adopted by the governing bodies of the three schools. Please see the Capability Policy for further information on how capability will be managed.

Annual Assessment

Each teacher's and member of support staff’s performance will be formally assessed in respect of each appraisal period. In assessing the performance of the head teacher, each Governing Body must consult its external adviser, as referred to above.

This assessment is the end point to the annual appraisal process, but performance and development priorities will be reviewed and addressed on a regular basis throughout the year in interim meetings which will take place once a term.

The teacher will receive as soon as practicable following the end of each appraisal period – and have the opportunity to comment in writing on - a written appraisal report. In each school, teachers will receive their written appraisal reports by 31 October (31 December for the head teacher). The appraisal report will include:

  • details of the teacher’s objectives for the appraisal period in question;
  • an assessment of the teacher’s performance of their role and responsibilities against their objectives and the relevant standards;
  • an assessment of the teacher’s training and development needs and identification of any action that should be taken to address them;
  • a recommendation on pay where that is relevant (NB – pay recommendations need to be made by 31 December for head teachers and by 31 October for other teachers);

The assessment of performance and of training and development needs will inform the planning process for the following appraisal period.

There will also be a written end of appraisal cycle report for support staff.

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Review of This Procedure

This procedure was revised in July 2014 to take account of the changes to the School Teachers Pay and Conditions Document which will be implemented on 1 September 2014., In terms of future reviews due notice will be taken of any guidance related to this subject produced by the CES or the DFE . In addition the governors when carrying out a review of this policy will want to assess that the schools’ performance management process and associated pay allocation is consistent with the overall standards of teaching in the schools and the outcomes for their pupils.

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Updated: Summer 2014

The Governing Bodies of St Marie’s, St Wilfrid’s and St Thomas of Canterbury
Schools originally adopted this policy in July 2012 and reviewed it in the Summer of 2014

It will be reviewed every 3 years (next time Summer 2017)or earlier if there are any statutory or service driven reasons for doing so or if there is further guidance produced by the Catholic Education Service.