Raising Standards Together

Information pack

Performance management


The performance management process provides practitioners with the opportunity to:
  • reflect on and assess their practice against the backdrop of the relevant professional standards
  • use relevant data and evidence to consider the impact of their practice on learner outcomes
  • have their practice observed and to discuss and formally record their achievements against objectives with their manager
  • understand how their objectives and professional development priorities contribute to the wider school development priorities
  • set objectives for the following year
  • discuss the development and support required to further enhance their effectiveness in the following year.

Legislation - the performance management system in Wales

New regulations for teachers and headteachers came into force on 1 January 2012 with all schools being required to move to the new system by 31 December 2012.

The main changes to the system are:
  • a direct link to the relevant professional standards
  • objectives focussed on priorities for school improvement identified though use of relevant data and evidence
  • professional development activities to be recorded in a PRD record
  • the headteacher’s appraisal panel must comprise of at least two governors and may include one or two local authority appointed representatives
  • the headteacher’s objectives will contribute to improving the progress of learners and will take account of school performance information.

The regulations can be found on the Legislation website

Experienced teachers

Teachers will discuss with their appraiser their contribution to improving outcomes (including well-being) for learners in their assigned classes. Reference may be made to relevant data and evidence including the All Wales Core Data set. Within the context of the school’s improvement priorities and the job description of the practitioner, the Practising Teacher Standards (PTS) may be used as a backdrop to assist in identifying specific objectives for development. If appropriate the Leadership standards will also be used in this process. Professional development activities which will support the achievement of these objectives will also be identified. The process will be recorded by updating a PRD record. In setting objectives the appraiser will have regard for the teacher’s work life balance.

Newly qualified teachers (NQTs)

While teachers undergoing their statutory induction period are exempt from the performance management regulations all newly qualified teachers (NQTs) will undertake a similar process where they will discuss with their mentor how they will evidence their work against the PTS. NQTs are required to demonstrate that they meet all the PTS in order to complete their induction successfully. All NQTs will complete an induction profile which will form the first part of the PRD record which, following induction, all teachers will update throughout their career.

Practising headteachers

Headteachers will follow a similar process to that of experienced teachers. They will agree their objectives in discussion with an appraisal panel made up of governors and where appropriate local authority representatives. The discussions will be informed by the progress the school has made against national averages, similar schools and prior attainment and the contribution the headteacher makes towards securing accountability for improvement. When agreeing objectives for further improvement the panel will take into account their responsibility for considering the headteacher’s work life balance and the contribution of the headteacher to the wider educational system. Headteachers will record their involvement in the process by updating their individual PRD record.

Support staff and other members of the school workforce

It is currently not mandatory for support staff to take part in performance management. However, many schools already have performance management arrangements in place for their support staff and we consider it good practice for schools to include support staff in their performance management policy and to give them equal opportunity to participate in the process. When the opportunity arises we intend to legislate to enable performance management to become mandatory for all school staff.

The summary performance management cycle is illustrated below.

Outline performance management cycle

Before cycle commences:
  • school performance management policy agreed
  • appraisers appointed
  • timing of cycle set.

Effective classroom observation

In 2014 Estyn published a report (external link) containing evidence of how classroom observation is being used to improve learner outcomes. We encourage schools to read the report and review their own use of observation to raise standards. The Welsh Government's response to the report is also available.

Download Documents

Classroom observation - purpose and protocols (File size: 70KB)

Related Links

Effective teaching and learning observation in further education colleges

Practice, review and development (PRD) record

Practitioners will maintain a PRD record which will allow them to formally record their involvement in the PRD process.

The core purpose of this document will be to evaluate professional development experiences and to assess their impact on current practice and on outcomes for learners. It will also provide the framework for future planning. The PRD record will be regularly updated and will form the basis for discussion during the annual performance management cycle.

The PRD record is not meant to be an exhaustive record of all the professional activities undertaken. It will only be updated with key evidence which illustrates how teaching and leadership skills have developed during the performance management cycle. Evidence will be drawn from the document or expanded further to support voluntary applications for assessment against pay and/or professional standards such as UPS, HLTA, Masters in Educational Practice (MEP) or National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH).

Download Documents

Model performance management policy for schools template (File size: 170KB)

Practice Review and Development Record template (File size: 50KB)

Performance management guidance

This guidance outlines the practice and procedures required by the School Teacher Appraisal (Wales) Regulations 2011 that came into force on 1 January 2012.

The revised performance management arrangements have been designed to strengthen the performance management of headteachers, teachers and unattached teachers. All schools were required to move to the revised arrangements by 31 December 2012.

The revised regulations can be found at the official home of UK legislation (External link/ English only)

The revised arrangements apply to all teachers, headteachers and unattached teachers, and provide the opportunity to:

  • discuss and formally record their achievements against objectives with their appraiser
  • assess their practice against the overall context of the relevant professional standards, informed by observation of their practice and supported by relevant data and evidence of their impact on learner outcomes
  • understand how their objectives and professional development contribute to the wider school development priorities
  • set objectives for the following year and to discuss the development and support required to further support their effective practice in the following year.

Schools should also have appropriate performance management arrangements in place for support staff and this guidance may also be used as a basis to establish such arrangements.

The performance management guidance materials listed below are intended to help schools to improve by supporting practitioners as individuals and leaders of school teams to develop their professional skills. They set a framework for teachers and leaders to agree and review priorities and objectives in the context of the school’s improvement planning. They also allow them to focus their attention on supporting practitioners to achieve high standards of teaching and leadership to benefit learners, practitioners and schools.

The briefing slides, accompanying notes and prompt sheets have been designed to be used by schools, governors, local authorities and consortia as part of professional development activities to assist in building familiarity with the revised arrangements and proficiency in implementation. Individual practitioners may also wish to use the materials to address particular development needs.

Download Documents

Performance management for headteachers: Revised performance management arrangements 2012 (File size: 200KB)

Performance management for teachers: Revised performance management arrangements 2012 (File size: (200KB)

Performance management for unattached teachers: Revised performance management arrangements 2012 (File size: 200KB)

Part A: Performance management - overview (File size: 1.2MB)

Part B: Performance management - head teachers (File size: 1.3MB)

Part C: Performance management - appraisers (File size: 1.3MB)

Part D: Performance management - appraisees (File size: 1.3MB)

Performance management prompt sheets: 1 - 6 (File size: 91KB)

Model performance management policy for schools template (File size: 170KB)

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