Appraisals in a School Setting Sep-23

With September marking the beginning of the 2023/24 academic year this is a time for fresh starts, new hopes and expectations. That's why having a robust appraisal structure can be a useful tool to help visualise the aims for the coming year ahead, it is an integral part of school improvement planning and self-evaluation.

Back to School & Appraisals

Author: Karen Kershaw, HR Consultant & Samantha StokesHR Business Partner for PACT HR

Published: 29th September 2023


An appraisal is a thorough yet supportive development process, it is designed to ensure that all teachers and support staff in schools have the necessary skills to carry out their role effectively. Successful appraisals focus on future training, development and action. Whilst it’s good to reflect on what has and hasn’t worked well, the appraisal should focus on the employee’s successes. It is a useful way to manage performance, motivate employees and align objectives to the wider School or Trust Strategy. It helps to ensure that teachers can continue to improve their professional practice and to develop their standard of teaching.

As part of Teacher Standards, the appraisal process became a legal requirement from the 1 September 2012. Appraisal arrangements are set out in the Education (School Teachers’ Appraisal) (England) Regulations 2012 (the Appraisal Regulations) which applies to all maintained schools. Although, Academies are free to set their own appraisal arrangements, PACT HR would advise that all Academies have a robust Appraisal Process in place.

As of September 2013, pay progression also became linked to an individual’s performance rather than their length of service. This means that schools can increase teacher’s pay at different rates based on their performance levels, with the Appraisal Process being an integral part of pay progression.

Within a school setting, support staff appraisals are often overlooked as they are not statutory. However, it is good practice for all staff to receive an appraisal including support staff, so all staff are contributing to the wider School or Trust Strategy.

Appraisal Period

The appraisal period for teaching staff usually runs from 1 November to 31 October to allow for pay statements to be issued by 31 October with targets normally based on the academic year 1 September to 31 August, although schools can set their own 12-month appraisal period.

It is recommended that support staff appraisals follow the teaching staff appraisal period.

It is recommended that all employees have a six-month interim appraisal review.

The role of the Appraiser

The role of the Appraiser is to manage all aspects of the appraisal cycle for their direct reports, including setting SMART Objectives linking these to the wider school strategy, agreeing training requirements, considering pay progression recommendations where appropriate, and to complete a planning statement at the start of each appraisal period for each member of their staff.

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PACT HR can offer bespoke Appraisal training via our Consultancy Team. Please get in contact if this is something we can help you with. You can contact the PACT HR helpdesk on 01274 436644 or email us at for more details.