Tis the season to appraise Tra la la la la

16 Oct 2018 | by Fiona Gill

Sorry got carried away with all the selection boxes and chocolate snowmen already appearing in the supermarkets!


The Autumn term brings performance management for teachers but is also the term that I appraise the staff in the business team. I introduced annual appraisals into the business team to much gasping and raised eyebrows (from the staff I line manage and some of the SLT members!) Hand on heart, I can say that it was one of my better decisions. I am not just making this statement from my point of view as team leader but with sincerity as a result of feedback and comments from the business staff.


OFSTED (2010) reported on schools they visited in their publication ‘Good professional development in schools’. They found strong leadership at all levels and a shared understanding of the contribution that professional development makes to raising standards. Importantly the surveyed schools provided professional development for all of their workforce.


The annual appraisal meeting enables me to re align with the business staff. It provides that one to one time where we can get to know each other and collaborate on common themes for the team and the individual – making improvements and professional development. 



Another initiative I have found useful is to provide the staff with a self-review sheet so that they can consider challenges and identify solutions. I also include a section to express their views on management professional support so that this can then feed into my appraisal.


I understand that the appraisal cycle can be an added task to an ever growing list of tasks for SBPs but it is one that pays dividends, allowing for that all important thinking out of the box. For example, I manage the IT support which is split between in house and external. As with most of the business team staff, the IT support staff can feel detached from the whole school. A solution agreed is for IT staff to have an appraisal objective that will bring them into contact with each class and also to assist in the delivery of a computing lesson. This has a triple effect – the IT staff feel part of the teaching and learning, the teacher has on hand IT support and it raises the profile of the business team in school. In the Net! Pardon the pun. 







OFSTED (2010) Good professional development in schools - How does leadership contribute?

http://dera.ioe.ac.uk/1109/1/Good%20professional%20development%20in%20schools.pdf (Accessed online 3rd October 2018)