How do your teacher's appraisals affect their salaries?


Appraisal time is approaching!

Appraisals can be a time of high stress. It's normal for even the most confident, beloved teacher to feel some anxiety at appraisal time. Appraisals shouldn't be a rod to beat your teachers with but should be a part of a wider conversation around school improvement. A good appraisal should be thorough but supportive with a focus on ensuring that all teachers in the school, from ECT to department heads, have the skills they need in order to teach and carry out their other duties effectively.

Your appraisals should be carried out by a member of staff who have been trained to carry out the appraisal system within the school. They should also be able to effectively set objectives that meet the priorities of the school and are achievable. When carrying out an appraisal, your appraiser will gather together evidence to check whether the teacher has met the objectives set in the last cycle. If not, they will look for any extenuating circumstances, such as illness. The appraiser and the teacher will then work together to set goals for the next cycle. School appraisal systems should be well documented in the relevant Performance Management policy, often closely aligned to the Pay policy. If you would like help in reviewing yours, please reach out to us.

Since September 2013, all teachers pay progression has been tied to performance and is linked to the teacher's frameworks. If your teachers are looking at moving up the pay scale towards the upper levels, they must present their portfolios, with their lesson plans, topic work, and student assignments. They must also show that they have the capability to move towards more leadership roles with more responsibilities. Your appraisals should set the goals needed for them to reach the next level with SMART targets, along with the mentoring and training that will be implemented to help the teacher reach them without significantly increasing their workload.

Aside from having a positive appraisal and good performance, another way that your teachers can increase their salary is by taking on additional leadership responsibilities outside of the classroom. These are Teaching & Learning Responsibility Payments (TLRs) with three bands from TLR3 to TLR1. The School Teachers' Pay and Conditions Document (STPCD) lays out three broad bands for the TLR, along with the payment bands. Every trust is run differently, with some trusts splitting the TLR2 payments into two smaller bands – TLR2a and TLR2b.

TLR BandPayment
TLR3£571 - £2,833
TLR2£2,873 - £7,012
TLR1£8,291 - £14,030

N.B. the TLR3 band should only be used for short project work and shouldn't be permanent

Although TLRs have a really valuable place within every school to incentivise teachers to take up more responsibility, both inside and outside of the classroom, it's important to remember that each school should have a mixture of teachers with different TLR bands. This mix allows NQTs to gain valuable experience and insight from their more experienced colleagues and provides good professional development opportunities. It may be worth remembering that people who move through all the scales in their career may stop at UPS3 with a TLR. They can be happy to stay at this level because the next option is leadership, which can sometimes mean leaving school. Appraisals should not always focus on monetary value but on how those who stay in school on their scale for longer periods can still be supported to ensure they are keeping to excellent performance, learning and keeping up to date with changes.

You should always pay all members of staff fairly for their experience, knowledge, and performance. This can lead to difficult conversations between school business leaders and finance professionals, especially as funding is squeezed ever tighter. Even before the increase in wages, staff costs typically account for greater than 70% of spending.

What steps can you take to ensure ends meet in September?

Integrated Curriculum Financial Planning (ICFP) is the practice of reviewing your expenditure to ensure that you have as an effective a budget as possible and can then deploy any other funds for specific purposes that will really enhance outcomes for children.

ICFP will provide you with statistics which you can then use to benchmark yourself against other schools and trusts. Some schools can save up to £250,000 per year through identifying a more efficient deployment of staff and then being able to use that annual 'saving' to spend on other great initiatives, such as extra and targeted interventions, or to support the refurbishment of school buildings. However, metrics alone are not the answer. They just provide a snapshot of your current position, but it doesn't give any nuance. You may have a 0.73 contact ratio but have recently taken on more ECTs (necessarily meaning less contact time). Your school may have groups of children that are particularly in need of additional intervention support to help your students flourish. The two most important things to focus on is what your students need and whether could you spend the money to better effect elsewhere. Could you get better outcomes by using that money differently?

Keystone Knowledge can help your school to find efficiencies through our internal scrutiny service. The package covers seven areas of review and can be tailored to your needs. Our experts provide a high-quality review of your operations including recommendations on where your trust could improve your financial and non-financial controls. Contact us now to learn more.

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