The Performance Review and Staff Development (PRSD) Scheme is integral to the School Development Planning process. It recognises the significant skills, abilities and experience of teachers in Northern Ireland and fosters their continuing professional development. It seeks to provide for all pupils the highest quality learning and teaching.
1.1 The following paragraphs set out the framework for the PRSD Scheme. The scheme applies to all qualified teachers, other than beginning teachers or those participating in Induction and Early Professional Development (EPD).
1.2 Employing Authorities have a statutory duty to promote the effective management of schools. The Board of Governors has a legal responsibility to ensure the professional development and performance of teachers employed within their schools is reviewed annually in accordance with this scheme and within the context of the School Development Plan (SDP). In the exercise of this responsibility the Board of Governors has a duty to prepare a Performance Review Policy in accordance with this Scheme, following consultation with teachers in their school.
1.3 It shall be the duty of each Board of Governors (referred to in this scheme as the reviewing body) to ensure that the professional development and performance of teachers for whom they are the reviewing body is reviewed annually in accordance with this scheme and within the context of the SDP.
1.4 It shall be the duty of the Reviewing Body to ensure that training and development needs, which are identified through the PRSD Scheme, are reflected in the SDP and that corresponding opportunities for professional development are made available to the principal, vice-principal[s] and teachers in the school.
1.5 The Joint Management and Teachers’ Side Working Group will report to the Teachers’ Salaries and Conditions of Service Committee (Schools) and will be inclusive of all interests. It will be responsible for providing advice and support on the PRSD Scheme and specifically on matters such as:
- The recruitment, selection and appointment of external advisors;
- The quality assurance process;
- The Code of Practice;
- The model policy;
- Appropriate training.
1.6 External advisors will be appointed on the basis of an agreed job description and personnel specification and will be directly responsible to the relevant employing authority. All advisors will be trained and accredited by the Regional Training Unit.
2. AIMS OF THE SCHEME
2.1 The scheme aims to:
- Recognise the contribution of teachers to achieving the aims of the SDP and help them to identify ways of enhancing their skills and performance.
- Identify the professional needs and necessary resources to support teachers, in their professional development and career progression.
- Increase teachers’ participation in decision-making and career planning and develop, in teachers, a greater sense of control over their work.
- Enhance the quality of education.
- Inform the management of schools.
- Improve teacher morale and motivation.
- Be seen by staff as enabling.
- Be manageable and minimise bureaucracy.
2.2 The Review Cycle
- Subject to paragraphs (2), (3) and (4) a review cycle will normally be a period of one year and once begun will be undertaken annually thereafter.
- If the teacher moves to another school or to a new post as a principal, the review cycle shall begin again and the Board of Governors may determine that the review cycle shall be less than one year.
- If the teacher moves to a new post in the same school the principal, in consultation with the teacher, may determine that new objectives be set.
- If the teacher becomes an acting-principal the Board of Governors may determine that:
- The objectives already set be revised.
- The teacher shall be reviewed as a principal.
3. APPOINTMENT OF REVIEWERS
3.1 The reviewer of a teacher shall be designated by the principal, unless the principal is the reviewer. Wherever possible, the reviewer should have management and/or curricular responsibility for the teacher. Where this is not possible, the designation of the reviewer should be following consultation with the teacher. The principal may, in consultation with the teacher, appoint a new reviewer in place of an existing reviewer at any time.
3.2 Principals will be reviewed by a minimum of two reviewers designated by the Board of Governors, following consultation with the employing authority, where applicable. The two reviewers may be advised by an external advisor designated by the employing authority, in consultation with the Board of Governors.
4. COMPONENTS OF THE PROCESS
4.1 The components of the review process are the same for principals and teachers and shall include three stages:
- Planning and preparation.
- Review Meeting.
4.2 Before or at the start of the review cycle, the reviewers of the principal, the external advisor (where appropriate) and the principal shall meet at an agreed time to plan and prepare for the review and seek to agree three personal/shared objectives, covering the areas of:
- Leadership and management.
- Pupil and curriculum development.
- Personal and professional development of the principal.
The objectives shall relate to the School Development Plan and be informed by the National Standards for Headteachers (Northern Ireland Edition), Department of Education’s Corporate Goals and also any advice or guidance issued by the employing authority and/or the Joint Management and Teachers’ Side Working Group. Objectives should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-bound (SMART).
4.3 If objectives cannot be agreed between the reviewers and reviewee, the reviewers shall set and record objectives for the principal and the principal may add comments in writing.
4.4 Before or at the start of the review cycle, the reviewer and reviewee shall meet to plan and prepare for the review and seek to agree three personal/shared objectives, covering the areas of:
- Professional practice.
- Pupil and curriculum development.
- Personal and professional development of the teacher.
The objectives shall relate to the School Development Plan. Objectives should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-bound (SMART).
4.5 If objectives cannot be agreed between the reviewer and reviewee, the reviewer shall set and record the objectives and the reviewee may add comments in writing.
4.6 Collection of Information
The collection of information other than through classroom or task observation shall be carried out in accordance with an agreed Code of Practice. Reviewees are expected to co-operate fully with any reasonable request for appropriate information.
4.7 Classroom Observation
- In the case of a teacher, two classroom observations, of a maximum period of one hour in total, shall take place as a prelude to the review meeting. The classroom observation will focus on appropriate aspects of the objectives, agreed in advance, as outlined in 4.4 above. Where teachers have substantial responsibilities outside the classroom one period of classroom observation may be replaced by a period of task observation.
- In the case of a principal, two periods of task observation, of a maximum period of one hour in total, shall take place as a prelude to the review meeting. However, where a principal has a significant teaching role, one of the periods of task observation may be replaced by a period of classroom observation.
4.8 Review Meeting
The review meeting is a comprehensive discussion between the reviewer[s] and the reviewee, at or near the end of the review cycle.
In the case of principal review, the reviewers, and the external advisor (where appropriate) shall be present at the meeting.
At the review meeting they shall:
- Consider the reviewee’s performance and identify any personal and professional development needs in relation to the agreed objectives.
- Agree an action plan and objectives for the incoming year.
4.9 Review Statement
At the conclusion of the review meeting a Review Statement, in the format attached, shall be drawn up by the reviewer[s], agreed with the reviewee and signed by both and will include:
- An agreed record of the conclusions reached.
- An action plan and associated objectives.
- In a separate annex (which shall form part of the Review Statement), the learning and development needs and ways of meeting such needs identified at the review meeting.
The Review Statement must be prepared within 10 working days of the review meeting and a copy given to the reviewee. The reviewee will have the opportunity to comment on the statement, including recording any points of disagreement within 10 working days.
4.10 The Review Statement is a confidential document and shall be retained on the personnel file of the reviewee.
5. USE AND RETENTION OF THE REVIEW STATEMENT
5.1 In the case of a teacher the reviewer shall provide a copy of the Review Statement to the reviewee and the principal (if the principal is not the reviewer).
5.2 The principal shall make the Review Statement available:
- To the reviewer on request.
- To any sub committee appointed under the Grievance procedure. *1 - (Please refer to paragraph 7.1)
- As required in accordance with other procedures as outlined in paragraphs 5.9 – 5.11.
5.3 The principal shall make the current statement of objectives of a reviewee available to a new reviewer appointed during a review cycle.
5.4 The principal may make a copy of the annex to the Review Statement available to the person(s) responsible for planning and/or providing the training and development of teachers.
5.5 In the case of a principal, the reviewers shall give the Review Statement to the chairperson of the Board of Governors, a copy to the principal and, in exceptional circumstances, to the Employing Authority, on request.
5.6 The chairperson of the Board of Governors shall make the Review Statement available.
- To the reviewers on request.
- To any sub committee appointed under the Grievance procedure. *2 - (Please refer to paragraph 7.1)
- As required in accordance with other procedures as outlined in paragraphs 5.9 – 5.11.
5.7 The chairperson of the Board of Governors shall make a copy of the current agreed objectives for the principal available to a new reviewer appointed during a review cycle.
5.8 The chairperson of the Board of Governors shall make a copy of the annex to the Review Statement available to the person(s) responsible for planning and/or providing the training and development of principals.
Link to Other Procedures
5.9 This scheme is separate from the procedures for Supporting Effective Teaching in Schools and Supporting Effective Leadership by School Principals. When the performance of the teacher/principal is called into question to the extent that it is considered necessary to move to the procedure for Supporting Effective Teaching in Schools/Supporting Effective Leadership, PRSD for that individual will be suspended and the teacher/principal will be issued with formal notification that the procedure for Supporting Effective Teaching/Effective Leadership is now being invoked. However, the Principal/ Board of Governors may use Performance Review Statements as part of the body of evidence to determine the effectiveness of the teacher. They cannot be used in isolation.
5.10 Teacher participation in the review process and the professional development activities associated with it shall be a necessary requirement in respect of pay progression on the main and upper pay scales and school ISRs. Review Statements shall be taken into account by those responsible for taking decisions or making recommendations about teachers’ pay.
5.11 The PRSD Scheme process does not form a part of the Disciplinary Procedure. Relevant information from Review Statements may be taken into account to assist those responsible for the management of the school.
5.12 Any documentation relating to the review process shall be confidential between the reviewer(s), the reviewee and the principal (where he/she is not the reviewer), except with the agreement of the reviewee or as provided for above.
6. CODE OF PRACTICE ON THE COLLECTION OF INFORMATION
6.1 The Code of Practice governing the collection of information (other than through classroom observation) shall be strictly complied with at all times. The collection of information shall also comply with the eight principles of the Data Protection Act (NI) 1998. Data held by any party in respect of this process shall be obtainable by the reviewee under the Data Protection Act (NI) 1998.
7.1 In the event of a complaint arising from either a principal or teacher the Grievance Procedure will apply.
8. EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES
8.1 This scheme shall operate fairly and equitably for all principals, vice-principals and teachers, in accordance with the principles of equality of opportunity. Reviewers will be aware of their responsibilities under the law not to discriminate on the grounds of any of the categories under *3 -Section 75 of the NI Act 1998.
*3 - Section 75 categories are as follows - between persons of different religious belief / political opinion / racial group / age / marital status /sexual orientation /between men and women generally /between persons with a disability and persons without / between persons with dependants and persons without.
8.2 The PRSD Scheme shall be used positively to promote equality of opportunity by encouraging all principals, vice-principals and teachers to fulfil their professional potential.
8.3 The scheme shall comply with equality legislation in Northern Ireland including:
- Fair Employment and Treatment Order (Northern Ireland) 1998 (as amended)
- Sex Discrimination (NI) Orders as amended 1976 & 1988 (as amended)
- Race Relations (NI) Order 1997 (as amended)
- Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (as amended)
- Equal Pay Act (NI)1970 as amended
- Part Time Workers –Less Favourable Treatment Regulations (NI) 2002
- The Equal Treatment Directive
- Schedule 9, Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998
- Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations (NI) 2003
- Employment Equality (Age) Regulations (NI) 2006.
8.4 The scheme, or those operating it, shall not treat any principal, vice principal, or teacher in a detrimental or less favourable way because of trade union membership or activity under any of the stated Section 75 categories.
8.5 Where an individual believes that they have been discriminated against in respect of the arrangements for the operation of this scheme or the outcome, they are entitled to refer this to an industrial tribunal. This should normally be within three months of the event occurring.
9. QUALITY ASSURANCE AND EXTERNAL MONITORING
9.1 The Board of Governors and the principal shall comply with any agreed quality assurance and external monitoring procedures introduced in relation to the operation of all matters relating to this scheme.
9.2 The scheme will be reviewed in conjunction with the recognised Teachers’ Unions every two years.
Reviewed February 2014