FAQ's -The Scheme
Question 1. What does ‘in-year monitoring’ mean and how will it be conducted?
The teacher should be monitoring their own performance on an ongoing basis. There may also be a sharing of information throughout the year, particularly through the observation requirement of the scheme where the performance will be monitored.
Question2. When and how will the review discussion be arranged?
It is likely that this will occur towards the end of the annual cycle. Some schools may decide to link PRSD into the school development planning cycle during the3rd term. At this point reviewers and reviewees would be aware of the school development priorities for the following year. Other schools may start the cycle at the beginning of the academic year and conclude it in May/June of the following year.
It is up to each school to establish a review calendar which maps out the time windows for review discussions and monitoring (including classroom observation)
Question 3. What do the references in the scheme to confidentiality mean?
Confidentiality is referred to in the handbook. The school already operates many processes that have confidentiality rubrics included. PRSD should be consistent with the school’s approaches to confidentiality.
Question 4. Where will the copies of the review statements be kept? Who will have access to them?
The scheme is quite specific regarding the review statements. In the instance of teachers and principals the review statement will always be kept in a secure place and access to all or part of it must be restricted to only those entitled to such access.
In the case of a principal and teachers the review statement may be taken into account by those responsible for taking decisions or making recommendations about pay or performance
Relevant information from a statement may be taken into account by school management as part of its function relating to the effective management of the school.
Question 5. Where will time be found for these reviews to be completed?
PRSD is part of the conditions of service of all teachers and must be managed within the agreed arrangements.
Question 6. How can the whole process avoid adding the existing burden of paperwork?
The documents to be completed for PRSD were part of the materials issued through the employing authority. It is expected that all schools will use the ‘planning record 2005/2006’ and the ‘review statement 2005/2006’. The lesson observation proforma are included as exemplars and schools may use existing observation sheets or amend and adapt the exemplars to best support the observation arrangements in their school .
Question 7. How will reviewers be identified?
Principals are responsible for the designation of reviewers within the school. Wherever possible a reviewer should have management and/or curricular responsibility for the teacher
Question 8. What if I don’t like my team leader?
Principals are responsible for designating reviewers. As the relationship between reviewer and reviewee is crucial, principals should be sensitive and ensure that reviewer allocation pays attention to this. Principals can consult but they have the final decision. All reviewers should be in a position to help and support teachers in the pursuit of their objectives.
Question 9. What happens if a reviewer insists on setting unreasonable or unfair objectives?
The role of the reviewer is to assist and support the setting of a reviewee’s objectives. The objectives should be challenging but achievable and be informed by the school development plan.
The reviewee has the right to record any points of disagreement within 10 working days of receipt of the completed review statement.
Question 10. How do the outcomes of the review process relate to decisions about pay progression?
For those teachers who have already progressed to UPS3 (whenever arrangements are finalised). PRSD will not have any linkes to decisions about pay. PRSD will be therefore used in connection to individual improvement and to any matter related to the provision and support of professional development for teachers .
For others PRSD shall be a necessary requirement in respect of pay progression on the main and upper pay scales and school ISRs. The review statements shall be taken into account by those responsible for taking decisions or making recommendations about the pay and performance of teachers
Question 11. How will they relate to threshold assessment and progression on the upper pay spine?
Question 12. Does the introduction of PRSD mean that target setting for principals and vice-principals continues, or is it replaced?
PRSD will replace the existing arrangements for principals and vice-principals on target setting and the outcome of these informing decisions about pay progression. The 2000 circular on Salary Policy does not change and any decisions about pay still need to consider GUIDANCE TO BOARDS OF GOVERNORS ON THE FORMULATION AND IMPLEMENTATION OF SALARY POLICY FEBRUARY 2000 issued by employing authorities .
More recent information can be assessed through DENI circular 2006/17
The reason for listing the questions is three-fold
- they give school leaders a sense of at least some of the questions that they can expect to be asked and for which they can prepare their responses
- they point to the importance of providing time on the exceptional closure day or making other arrangements to enable teachers to raise these and other issues and be given clear and honest answers
- Some of the questions that teachers may pose will relate to school based issues and can only be addressed by those in the school. It is important that schools recognise this and perhaps begin to consider what internal protocols or systems might be developed to support PRSD in the school.