Lesson observations and learning walks
- How giving up lesson observations cut SLT workload by more than half: case study Senior leaders at Lavender Primary School saved themselves 8.5 hours a term when they stopped formal lesson observations 2 years ago. This also improved teacher wellbeing, boosted retention, and kept teaching standards high. Find out how they did it, and how you can too.
- Learning walk: how to spot effective questioning Use our learning walk template to help you identify a key feature of high-quality teaching – effective questioning.
- Learning walks: how-to guide Plan and carry out a successful learning walk with our downloadable checklist and suggested areas of focus and activities by role. Use our questions to interrogate the evidence and come up with future actions.
- Learning walks: templates Use our downloadable template – which takes into account Ofsted inspection criteria – to carry out a learning walk. There are also templates that focus on specific areas: EYFS, SEN provision, the learning environment and behaviour.
- Lesson observation form based on the Ofsted framework Ofsted doesn't expect you to use its inspection criteria to grade lessons. However, if you want to refer to it when carrying out lesson observations, including for EYFS lessons, use our template forms.
- Lesson observations: how-to guide and templates Get to grips with how to carry out successful lesson observations. Use our lesson observation templates, 2 of which are based on Ofsted inspection criteria, our template feedback form for staff, and a spreadsheet to keep track of observations throughout the school year.
- Observing EYFS teaching: what to look for Be clear on what effective teaching looks like, and find examples of prompts to help you when carrying out lesson observations.
- Template for observing teaching assistants Use our template for observing teaching assistants (TAs) to help you maximise their impact in your school. It draws on the professional standards for TAs.
- Appraisal: 360-degree feedback forms Download our template forms for gathering 360-degree feedback for staff performance reviews, including for a headteacher, and save yourself time if you're making your own.
- Appraisal: stages of the cycle See the key phases of the performance management cycle as suggested in the DfE's optional model policy for teacher appraisal. Plus, see a case study of how 1 'outstanding' school manages its appraisal cycle.
- Appraising staff on maternity, paternity and adoption leave Understand your legal responsibilities for performance managing teachers on maternity leave. Plus, get tips on how to schedule meetings and set appraisal targets for staff on maternity, paternity, adoption and shared parental leave.
- Line management meetings with middle leaders: guidance and agendas Read expert advice on how senior leaders can prepare for and hold effective meetings with middle leaders, and download an example line management meeting planner for an academic year.
- Performance management: checklists Share our checklist with your line managers so they know what’s expected of them. Plus, audit your whole-school performance management procedures, so you can make sure you're compliant.
- Staff appraisal and capability: requirements and guidance Get an overview of your requirements for appraising teachers and support staff, and see a case study of a staff-led approach to teacher appraisal.
- Teacher appraisal reports: template and guidance Understand what teacher appraisal reports need to contain and how to complete them, and download our template report to use to review your teachers' progress and objectives.
- Teacher on a page: template Use our 'teacher on a page' report to track a teacher's performance across an appraisal cycle.
- Performance objectives for middle leaders
- Performance objectives for senior leaders
- Performance objectives for support staff
- Performance objectives for teachers
- Writing performance objectives
- Career stage expectations for senior leaders Download and adapt our set of career stage expectations for assistant and deputy headteachers, and a SENCO, based on the Teachers' Standards.
- EYFS teachers: performance management Find out your requirements for assessing EYFS teachers in maintained schools and academies, and read a summary of the early years Teachers' Standards.
- Headteachers' standards: summary Read our summary of the Headteachers' Standards 2020 and find out how you can use them.
- Professional standards for school leaders Professional standards for headteachers are set out in the Headteachers' Standards. Read expert advice on how other school leaders – including SBMs and heads of school – can use the standards, alongside other resources.
- Teachers' Standards: overview and career progression Read our summary of the Teachers' Standards, and see our skills audit and example school policies linking the standards to career stage expectations and progression.
- Teaching assistants: professional standards Get to grips with the non-statutory professional standards for TAs and how you, your SLT and teachers might choose to use them.
Senior leadership appraisal
CEO appraisal process
Prepare for your appraisal by familiarising yourself with the procedure, and use our guidance to help you write your objectives for the next appraisal period.
For Trust Leaders
- Deputy headteacher appraisal Make sure you're prepared for your deputy headteacher's appraisal by considering objectives, development opportunities and professional standards.
Headteacher appraisal: step-by-step process and templates
Use our guidance for leaders in multi-academy trusts (MATs) to help you manage the appraisal process for headteachers in your schools. Download our templates and checklist so you're confident you've got everything covered.
For Trust Leaders
- Preparing for your headteacher appraisal Feel confident and ready for your headteacher appraisal by familiarising yourself with the whole process. Use our templates to review your objectives and track your progress.
- School business manager (SBM): performance management Read advice on SBM appraisal, including how to use professional standards and support professional development.
Support staff appraisal
- Admin staff: performance management Read advice on performance management for your school's admin staff, including how to use professional standards and set objectives.
- Caretakers/site managers: performance management Download an example appraisal form, and read guidance on setting performance objectives for caretakers and premises managers.
- Improve efficiency in your school office Boost the productivity and effectiveness of your school office by examining your organisational techniques, procedures and use of software. Also find examples of staff training opportunities.
- Midday supervisors: performance management Read advice on performance management for your school's midday supervisors, including how to collect evidence for appraisals, and links to professional standards. Plus, download our template observation form to help you evaluate staff in the playground or lunch area.
- Monitoring the effectiveness of teaching assistants Read advice on evaluating the effectiveness of teaching assistants (TAs) and download survey templates to check how much time TAs spend on different tasks each day and week.
- Support staff: performance management You're not required to conduct formal appraisals for school support staff including teaching assistants (TAs), but it is good practice. Read guidance on how to manage this process, including appointing appraisers and handling underperformance.
- Support staff: performance management templates Download our template reports to carry out mid-year and annual performance reviews for support staff.
Teaching staff appraisal
- Monitoring teaching and learning: how to select and use evidence Find out how to triangulate evidence from a range of sources to get a reliable overall picture of the quality of teaching and learning in your school.
- Teacher appraisal: assessing performance and setting targets Understand how performance links to pay progression and find guidance on setting objectives, identifying areas for development and collecting evidence for appraisals.
Underperformance and capability
- Capability action plan: template and guidance Be confident going into your meeting with an underperforming teacher. Read our walk-through of how the meeting will run and download our template capability action plan, so you can feel prepared for this difficult conversation.
- Capability procedures: sharing information Read guidance and advice on requirements around sharing information about capability procedures. Find out what you have to disclose to governing bodies and future employers.