London secondary school demonstrates good practice in performance management through use of online CPL management system

 Johnnie Pavey, Assistant Head at Lampton School and also Teaching School Specialist Leader of Education, discusses the performance management and CPL programme he and his team have implemented. By developing a progress- based measure and through effective use of their online CPL solution, the school’s 120 staff have, year on year, been responsible for significant student progress or value added measure.

About the school:

Lampton secondary school in West London is an outstanding academy and was one of the first teaching schools to be established by the DfE. Described as a complex urban’ comprehensive, the school is non-selective and students come from a wide range of ethnic backgrounds, falling below the national average both in terms of ability and socio-economic circumstances. 1,200 of its 1,600 students speak English as an additional language. Student achievement however is above average and the school has been deemed outstanding in challenging circumstances by Ofsted in each of its last three inspections.

Professional Learning and Performance Management

At Lampton we take Continuing Professional Learning (CPL) and performance management very seriously. It forms an important part of our annual cycle and starts and finishes on the same day every year in early September - when we kick off the new term with our first inset day for all teaching staff.

During this inset day we teach staff how to set SMART targets targets that are Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Relevant and Time Bound. We then ask them to perform a self audit using our online CPL and self-evaluation tool, so they can see for themselves how far they have progressed in their journey to meet Lampton Teacher Standards and the national teachersstandards. This in turn informs the objectives set by their line manager.

Each member of staff is set three key objectives, focusing on:

·         Teaching and learning

·         Pupil progress

·         Professional development

Each September we look at the value addedscores from the summer i.e. pupil progress targets rather than attainment.  Those teachers who have demonstrated good value addedmeasure over a defined period typically progress well up the pay scale.

Using pupil progress, rather than merely attainment, to measure our teacher CPL also stands us in good stead for the introduction of Progress 8 this year. Having used a value added measure to monitor teacher CPL for some time, we are looking forward to seeing Lampton’s success in this area reflected in the official league tables. 

So how do we do it?

At Lampton, we have developed our own secure, cloud-based CPL platform, linked to our CPL and self-evaluation tool. Our staff search our site to locate courses that will help them meet their objectives for the coming year, such as teaching and learning, key skills, pastoral etc. Each course features a portrait shot of our resident expert and links to teacher standards. It then takes them through to the CPL platform which presents them with a route map so they can clearly see their progress and where they are in their career. A separate route map is provided for teaching assistants who have different learning needs.

Staff document all CPL in their personal eportfolio, which enables line managers and the Senior Leadership Team (SLT) to gauge the effectiveness of the courses and helps inform strategy planning for the coming year. Staff are required to complete six CPL courses per year. However, our CPL system is so popular that many complete up to 16 per year. CPL is only signed off by the SLT after they see it has been completed. Having the courses available online is a great benefit here as it makes it easy for the SLT to see when a course has been completed.

The benefits of our system and performance-related pay

What is good about the system is that it is evidence based and transparent - making discussions about performance-related pay much easier.

At Lampton we take a holistic approach to pay reviews. We look at:

·         Value addedmeasure achieved

·         Lesson observations

·         External and internal lesson observations

·         Line managersthoughts on how individuals have performed in relation to their CPL overviews.

Transparency is key to holding people to account and staff have warmed to using an online CPL system as it enables them to highlight their successes. They view it as progressive and particularly like it when it supports their progress up the pay scale!

The significance

Most importantly, using an online system for CPL enables staff to take ownership of their training and provides a route map for their careers. It is a really useful tool because it helps ensure that evidence of staff successes are documented and celebrated, rather than ignored. It also eliminates the need for a box under the desk with all those well done lettersfrom their line managers and valued addedprogression spreadsheets.

It acts as a diagnostic tool for senior leaders, warning of issues and challenges that need to be addressed before external reviews. It also clearly illustrates teaching and learning achievements in an easy to digest manner.

Most importantly, it helps the leadership team know explicitly how well their staff are doing and for them to say emphatically we are here”.

BlueSky Education is the leading online staff development, professional learning and self-evaluation software for schools.  Used in over 1,300 schools, it aims not only save time and money but to ensure that performance management processes really drive improvement. The key driver behind the tool is encouraging engagement and professional accountability at an individual level. This ensures everyone understands their role in supporting the school to achieve its key outcomes of pupil performance and achievement. (http://blueskyeducation.co.uk/)

     
   
   
 
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