Staff appraisal takes place under the overarching philosophy of compassion, dialogue and community.
All staff work within teams and have team leaders. This includes the non-academic staff under the management of the Bursar.
When staff are appointed, they sign a contract that is based on a detailed Job Description. The Job Description lays out the duties, responsibilities and obligations of the post. It may be modified over time as new areas of responsibility are undertaken with the agreement of the Phase leader and the Principal, but teachers are appraised only on what is in the contract of employment and job description. In addition, there are documents referred to in the Job Description that implicitly form a part of each member of staff’s contract of employment: policies and procedures, staff and student handbooks. Appraisal takes place in the light of these obligations.
Phase leaders create their own teams. There are also cross-phase working groups. They use the same hierarchical list used in SMT meetings to determine the effectiveness of the staff working in their teams
The Hierarchical List
- Health and Safety, with a review of incidents
- Happiness: engagement with learning
- Are the children happy, safe and supported?
- Are there gaps in provision?
- Functioning of community meetings
- Is the Community functioning well?
- Do the institutions of self-government work?
- Use of facilities: physical resources; online resources
- Do children initiate projects?
- Do they use activity rooms?
- Do the online portfolios work?
- Academic results
- Does the Tracking Mechanism show the level of children’s attainment in core competencies?
- Is it acceptable?
All staff are aware of the hierarchy of values.
We do not expect staff to immediately understand the school and its philosophy. We expect to provide induction, training and guidance to new staff. Staff learn in a similar manner to the children: through activity, dialogue and play/experiment.
- There is an induction process for new staff. Staff in the first wave of recruitment will be encouraged to think about how to manage this, since they will be the future leaders of the program
- New staff are expected to use journals to become reflective good practitioners
- There are regular discussions after school and using the staff online forum
- There are regular social events organized by the school where staff can chat in an informal setting
- Any member of staff can book a private chat with the Principal
- There are obligatory termly chats with the Phase Leader, which go on to form a part of the SMT termly review
We want a school where the staff help one another to improve. We encourage collaboration, Peer Review, the creation of working groups and team teaching. Phase leaders have overall responsibility for their teams, but encourage their teachers to be creative, dynamic and engaged. Appraisal in this context is a shared activity.
Principal and Team Leaders
The Principal and Team Leaders need to ensure that the school is working according to its guiding principles. They can:
- Observe lessons and activities
- Examine teachers’ planning and notes
- Sit in on community meetings
- Set diagnostic level tests
- Require that teachers who are experiencing difficulty go for training, are partnered or reassign them within the school
Appraisal is not uniquely linked to student test scores, although the use of the Tracking Mechanism will come into any performance review and online portfolios will be inspected.
When a Phase Leader identifies that a member of the team is not performing up to expectation, the Principal is informed. The teacher, the Phase Leader and the Principal meet to talk through the difficulty. These discussions are formal and minuted. Together they create an Action Plan to improve the deficit in performance, with fixed times on the calendar to review progress. The Action Plan is attached to the Job Description, referred to in the Termly Chat and brought up in the post term SMT review meeting.
A Clear Vision
MBAT has a clear vision articulated in detailed Job Descriptions. The management is firm and compassionate. Staff sign a contract that states clearly the philosophy and practices of the school. We expect them all to work diligently to fulfil this contract and will offer them every reasonable assistance to do so. It may be the case that a teacher, for whatever reason, is unable to work within the Job Description or the philosophy of the school. In this event the Principal will institute the Disciplinary Procedure. Repeated breaches of the contract will lead to dismissal.