Sunday, 23 February 2014

Teacher Appraisal and PRP - Part Four: The Review and Moderation Stage

Step Two:  The Review and Moderation Stage
The Review and Moderation Stage of the Appraisal Process is conducted by the line-manager:
  • In the case of a teacher, this is the Head of Department in the senior schools; or the Head of Year in the prep schools.
  • In the case of the HoD, this is the Deputy Head who line-manages that cluster group (Departments are allocated to one of four clusters: 'English and Languages', 'Humanities', 'Maths and Science' and 'Creative and Practical'
  • In the case of a Year Head in the Prep Schools it is the Headteacher.
  • In the case of SLT, it is the Principal.
This structure both empowers middle managers and spreads the load from the SLT.
360° Feedback
The Line-manager collates evidence.  Let me take the example of the appraisal of a HoD by a Deputy Head:
  • Evidence from Below:  the Deputy Head will send a simple confidential questionnaire to members of the department about the performance of the HoD.  These will include comments on a range of issues including how department meetings are run, the extent to which the HoD provides clear leadership of the department, the way in which tasks are shared out within the department and so on.
  • Peer to Peer:  the Examination Officer will provide feedback on the HoD's administrative efficiency in relation to both internal and external examinations.
  • Evidence from Above: the Vice-Principal Education and the Director of Studies will provide feedback on the Departmental academic performance in relation to MidYIS and ALIS data, on how the HoD uses budgets and on their administrative Efficiency in terms of meeting deadlines etc.
Lesson and Meeting Observation
HoDs will collate information on the basis of formal and informal Lesson Observations. Likewise, Deputy Heads will evaluate the HoDs performance at cluster group meetings and by attending HoDs meetings from time to time.

Step Three:  The Line-Manager Review
Once the line manager has received all the highlighted (Self)Appraisal Grids from their department or cluster, s/he reviews the appraisee's self-assessment in each category against the 360° and observation data that they have collated. The line-manager then make his/her own judgement of the teacher/HoD's performance by noting that they agree the self evaluation or by highlighting the grid in a different colour:
HoD Reviews the Teacher's Self-appraisal
There is clearly scope for a discussion where there is a difference of opinion between the self-assessment of the appraisee and the line-manager. Here the question of evidence will need to be discussed and the reasons for the different judgement explored.  (How this is done will be tackled in the next blogpost.)

Step Four:  The Moderation and Standardisation Meeting
As teachers we are all familiar with 'Moderation' and 'Standardisation' meetings for pupils' work - indeed schools have exceptional expertise in this area in comparison to many other sectors. The purpose of the meeting is to ensure that there is a fairness in the system across the school - between clusters and between departments. It is also a vital step in ensuring that 'outstanding' remains truly outstanding and that there isn't grade inflation.  Yes, we all hope that next year that more people will be deemed 'outstanding' than last year, but we want that to be because of genuine improvement rather than because of a lack of rigour in the appraisal system.
So earlier this term here at Berkhamsted, the Deputy Heads met with the Principal and the Director of Studies and we looked at the reviewed Appraisal Grids (highlighted in both colours as above), evaluated the evidence and came up with a final judgement for the overall score for each of the HoD.

The Moderation and Standardisation Meeting was a very important meeting and, as a Principal, was a great opportunity for me 'to take the collective pulse' of the School's middle management.  It was also a great opportunity to witness the professionalism and passion of the team of Deputy Heads who are rising to the challenge of driving up standards of teaching and learning in the school.

Next Post in Series

No comments:

Post a Comment