Saturday, 22 February 2014

Teacher Appraisal and PRP - Part Two: The Berkhamsted School HoD Appraisal PRP Consultation

We began a consultation process with Heads of Department in October 2012 proposing a move to a new middle management pay scale for the academic year 2013-14. These scales would include an element of performance-related-pay.
New HoDs Pay Scales - Banding according to Size of Department
The HoDs pay scales were in four bands relating to the size of the department: Small, Medium, Large and Faculty. The criteria for the allocation of a department to each of these bands were based on five factors:
  1. Number of Staff 
  2. Number of Pupils at KS3 
  3. Number of Pupils at KS4 
  4. Number of Pupils at KS5 
  5. Examination v Non-examination subjects.
PRP: -The Performance-Related Pay Element
There are at least three levels within each of the Bands. The theory being that a HoDs will start at the bottom of the band and can progress through the levels according to their performance. (Conversely, poor performance can lead to a loss of an increment.)
HoDs Appraisal: Measuring Performance
HoDs' performance is measured in two ways: by 'Outcomes' and by their 'Attitudes and Behaviours'. This can be summarised on a 3x3 grid, an idea developed from a performance-management model used by Novartis (see previous blogpost):
Measuring Departmental Outcomes
Heads of Department will be evaluated on the basis of a three-year rolling average of their academic performance in the following way:
NB Not Berkhamsted School Data
  • Academic Results: MidYIS and ALIS results – against Independent Schools  
    Outstanding = over 1 standard deviations re Independent Schools (in blue) Good = in line to 1 standard deviation (in white) Weak = lower than average performance (in yellow).
  • Inspiring Pupils: Trend analysis of pupil option numbers at GCSE and A-level and university. 
  • The Level of Departmental Activity: Trips, Societies, Visiting speakers etc.
Evaluating HoDs 'Attitudes and Behaviours'
The aim of the appraisal grids was to provide descriptors for three levels of possible 'Attitudes and Behaviours' of HoDs for all of their key responsibilities:
  1. Falls short of Expectations
  2. Meets Expectations / Good
  3. Outstanding
(These titles went through many versions:  Poor - Satisfactory - Outstanding; Poor - Developing - Outstanding. Ultimately we set upon Falls short of expectations etc for two reasons: first it focused on improvement; and, secondly, we were keen to avoid the OFSTED trap of devaluing 'outstanding' - we don't expect every HoD to be outstanding in every area of responsibility all of the time).
The following is an example of some of the descriptors for the HoD responsibility for conducting appraisal and monitoring staff performance:
Rather than imposing the grids onto HoDs, a group of leading HoDs worked revising and rewording the HoDs appraisal grids. Looking back on the process, this proved to be the most important part of the consultation process, for it gave HoDs the opportunity to determine the criteria against which, ultimately, they would be appraised. Indeed, it was this group of HoDs who subsequently presented the HoDs Appraisal Grids to their peers - which meant that their was genuine buy-in from the HoDs from an early stage.
Lessons Learned
Although we have decided to have a PRP element to the appraisal system for HoDs, the key driver is towards improving performance. HoDs were treated as the professionals that they are and were given the opportunity to make a significant contribution to the process. Whilst the structure was imposed 'from on high', the detail of defining was is poor, satisfactory, good and outstanding performance was left to those in the job. Perhaps the greatest testimony to the success of the consultation process is that all but one of the HoDs chose to move onto the new pay scale.

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