You are here:

  • How giving up lesson observations cut SLT workload by more than half: case study Senior leaders at Lavender Primary School saved themselves 8.5 hours a term when they stopped formal lesson observations 2 years ago. This also improved teacher wellbeing, boosted retention, and kept teaching standards high. Find out how they did it, and how you can too.
  • Learning walk: how to spot effective questioning Use our learning walk template to help you identify a key feature of high-quality teaching – effective questioning.
  • Learning walks: how-to guide Plan and carry out a successful learning walk with our downloadable checklist, and use our suggested questions to interrogate the evidence and come up with future actions.
  • Learning walks: templates Use our downloadable template – which takes into account Ofsted inspection criteria – to carry out a learning walk. There are also templates that focus on specific areas: EYFS, SEN provision, the learning environment and behaviour.
  • Lesson observation form based on the Ofsted framework Ofsted doesn't expect you to use its inspection criteria to grade lessons. However, if you want to refer to it when carrying out lesson observations, including for EYFS lessons, use our template forms.
  • Lesson observations: how-to guide and templates Get to grips with how to carry out successful lesson observations. Use our lesson observation templates, 2 of which are based on Ofsted inspection criteria, our template feedback form for staff, and a spreadsheet to keep track of observations throughout the school year.
  • Observing EYFS teaching: what to look for Be clear on what effective teaching looks like, and find examples of prompts to help you when carrying out lesson observations.
  • Template for observing teaching assistants Use our template for observing teaching assistants (TAs) to help you maximise their impact in your school. It draws on the professional standards for TAs.
Show all articles
Show all articles
  • Career stage expectations for senior leaders Are there any career stage expectation grids for senior leaders? We worked with one of our associate education experts to produce illustrative career stage expectations for deputy and assistant headteachers and SENCOs. You will also find leaders’ standards from a school.
  • EYFS teachers: performance management All teachers in maintained schools must be assessed against the Teachers’ Standards, including EYFS teachers. See guidance on assessing EYFS teachers in maintained schools and academies, and read a summary of the early years Teachers' Standards.
  • Headteachers' Standards: summary Read our summary of the Headteachers' Standards 2020 and how to use them.
  • Professional standards for school administrative staff Are there examples of professional standards for school administrative staff? One of our associate education experts suggests examples of professional standards for three roles. We also refer to standards from two local authorities and the National College of Teaching and Leadership.
  • Professional standards for school leaders Professional standards for headteachers are set out in the 2020 Headteachers' Standards. Read expert advice on how other school leaders – including SBMs and heads of school – can use the standards, alongside other resources.
  • Professional standards for teaching assistants Get to grips with the non-statutory professional standards for TAs and how you, your SLT and teachers might choose to use them.
  • School business managers (SBMs): professional standards There are no required standards you must use when appraising school business managers, but you may find ISBL's standards helpful. Find a link to these, as well as a skills audit based on them.
  • Teachers' Standards: overview and career progression Read our summary of the Teachers' Standards, and see our skills audit and example school policies linking the standards to career stage expectations and progression.
Show all articles
  • Deputy headteacher appraisal Make sure you're prepared for your deputy headteacher's appraisal by considering objectives, development opportunities and professional standards.
  • Performance management of school business managers (SBMs) Read advice on appraisal for SBMs and bursars, including how to use professional standards and support professional development.
  • SLT appraisal: 360-degree feedback Are there examples of 360-degree feedback tools? We include a 360-degree feedback form for headteachers, which you can download and adapt, and a feedback form for school business managers. You will also find links to commercial providers of 360-degree feedback tools.
  • The headteacher appraisal process Prepare for your headteacher appraisal by familiarising yourself with the whole process, and use our templates to review objectives and track progress.
Show all articles
  • Admin staff: performance management Read advice on performance management for your school's admin staff, and download ready-made documents to help you track their performance.
  • Caretakers/site managers: performance management Download an example appraisal form, and read guidance on setting performance objectives for caretakers and premises managers.
  • Midday supervisors: performance management Is there advice on performance management for midday supervisors? This article has examples of potential targets and performance objectives, as well as professional standards these staff can be measured against. It also includes a downloadable KeyDoc form for observing midday supervisors.
  • Monitoring the effectiveness of teaching assistants Read advice on evaluating the effectiveness of teaching assistants (TAs) and download survey templates to check how much time TAs spend on different tasks each day and week.
  • Poll: Support staff appraisal Have your say and find out what other school leaders said.
  • School office: improving efficiency How can we improve management of the school office? Two of our associate education experts offer advice on how to improve efficiency in the school office. We also link to training and resources on leadership, line management and effective school office management.
  • Support staff: performance management You're not required to conduct formal appraisals for school support staff including teaching assistants (TAs), but it is good practice. Read guidance on how to manage this process, including appointing appraisers and handling underperformance.
  • Support staff: performance management templates Download our template reports to carry out mid-year and annual performance reviews for support staff.
Show all articles
Show all articles
  • Capability action plan: template and guidance Be confident going into your meeting with an underperforming teacher. Read our walk-through of how the meeting will run and download our template capability action plan, so you can feel prepared for this difficult conversation.
  • Capability procedures: sharing information Whether or not you must declare when a teacher has been dismissed due to capability depends on the type of school. Read guidance, including advice from the DfE, ASCL and our associate education experts, and learn how the rules are different for support staff.
Show all articles