Back copies of Solihull NASUWT Newsletters

Solihull NASUWT newsletters.

The newsletters in this archive provide information on issues of continuing concern to members arising from members' day-to-day experiences in schools and other settings within the education services in Solihull and nationally.

 

Colleagues can learn more about both local matters, the broader national concerns of the teaching profession and NASUWT policies on key issues by attending local association meetings.

 

SEE THE ‘MEETINGS’ TAB FOR DETAILS.

The selected editions below include articles with information of continuing importance to members.

Solihull NASUWT Newsletter: National Conference 2016 edition

This edition reports on National Conference 2016 with details about the two Solihull motions.

Seven delegates from the Solihull Association along with NASUWT representatives from across the United Kingdom attended the Union’s National Conference in Birmingham over the Easter weekend 2016 and joined in the debates including those on: excessive workload, teacher recruitment and retention, the misuse of performance management in schools, arts provision in a balanced curriculum, the exploitation of supply teachers, pay provision and progression and excessive marking.

Conference 2016 edition
TWO motions from the Solihull Association
On Performance Management were debated and passed unanimously by Conference.
Volume 08 Issue 02 April 2016 SolihullNA[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [2.2 MB]

Solihull NASUWT Newsletter: Spring term 2013 edition

This edition contains information of continuing importance about Performance Management.

There is a column in the staff section of the TES called ‘What keeps me awake at night’. It provides interesting insights into views about aspects of education and schooling from within the teaching profession and contributors often unburden themselves about issues that they find deeply disquieting. A head teacher explains:

Why teacher appraisal has all gone so wrong

Michael Morgan, head teacher

Volume 05 Issue 01 January 2013 SolihullNASUWT NL.docx
Volume 05 Issue 01 January 2013 Solihull[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [436.1 KB]

I’m a head teacher and the cause of my insomnia is the growing, destructive and shameful attitudes of many fellow head teachers towards their own staff through their clumsy, invalid and misguided use of performance management (appraisal) objectives. The misuse of appraisal objectives to bully and belittle teachers is now epidemic and I believe that the teaching unions are not doing enough to challenge the errant head teachers or to support their members. The problem occurs when head teachers use pupil performance data to generate so called ‘targets’ for teachers for their appraisal. In many schools data-driven ‘targets’ are imposed upon subject staff requiring them to achieve crude percentage increases in their examination classes or to guarantee that their pupils will gain defined levels of progress based upon data. Should the pupils not match these targets the teacher is adjudged to be failing – with pay progression and threshold advancement being denied. In more than one local school I know of staff that ‘fail’ their performance management on this basis are subjected automatically to capability. The head teachers doing this brag about it at local meetings so that other heads think they should do the same; but, adding to the worry is the fait accompli response of many teachers who feel that they can do nothing about this and even talk themselves of “failing their performance management”. The imposition of such targets is also contrary to the employer’s statutory duty of care and applies equally to head teachers who have similarly styled targets imposed upon them by governors. Health and Safety at Work legislation supports this view arguing that for an employer (in this case a head teacher or board of governors) to demand that employees (teachers and head teachers) manage, influence or change matters over which they have little or no personal or professional control is stress producing. The ‘Management Standards for Work Related Stress’ highlight the damage of holding employees to account for matters over which they have no control. An employer who ignores guidance from the Health and Safety Executive could suffer censure and be open to legal challenge.

 

The problem with the use of data driven and levels based objectives in performance management is that the approach misses the point entirely of performance management; it is bad management because it is bullying management. Estimated grades generated from a variety of data sources are being treated as absolute ‘contracts’ for pupils’ achievements. Head teachers insist that their teachers must guarantee four levels of progress, for example, and they enshrine this ‘wish list’ into performance management objectives making the deeply erroneous assumption that every aspect of a pupil’s success is linked to what the teacher can do or control. This is a short pathway to the constructive failure of teachers en masse and should be challenged at every opportunity. 

 

Why percentage and levels based objectives are wrong for performance management

To read more download the newsletter or go to the 'Guidance' tab and download GS01 'PM Objectives EXAMPLES (issue 02) Sep17.pdf'