Document Sample

Q:      When does Light Touch Validation come into effect?

A:      From September 2006

Q:      How will it be conducted?

A:      The validation will be conducted by the External Adviser selected by the
        school’s governing body to provide advice on headteacher appraisal.

Q:      What should I do?

A:      Complete the Light Touch Validation check list (download from and provide the External Adviser with a copy in
        advance of the adviser’s visit.

Q:      What can I expect?

A:      During the visit the External Adviser will ask the headteacher and
        governors questions about the school’s performance management
        systems, focusing on some of the areas covered by the Performance
        Management Check List. The External Adviser may ask to see key
        documents such as

        •   The school’s pay policy and the Performance Management Policy
        •   The headteacher’s report to the governing body on Performance
        •   Anonymous examples of teachers’ performance management
            objectives or teachers’ annual pay statements.

        The only documentation that External Advisers will ask for is material
        that schools already have in place.

Q:      Will this apply to all schools?

A:      Yes. However, the only exception applies to schools in the New
        Relationship with Schools pilot who have been allocated a School
        Improvement Partner (SIP). In to these schools Light Touch Validation
        will be carried out by the SIP.

Q:      What about the future?

A:      From 2006, SIPs will be taking on the Performance Management
        functions currently provided by External Advisers. These will include
        Light Touch Validation.


Q:      What is the process for teachers who wish to apply to go through
        the Threshold?

A:      There is no longer any external assessment or verification of
        headteachers’ decisions. Teachers are required to complete an
        application form, available on the teachernet website, and submit it to
        their headteacher. The format of the application is unchanged.

Q:      Who can apply?

A:      Threshold assessment is open to all qualified teachers who:
        • Are statutorily covered by the Schoolteachers’ Pay and Conditions
        • Have qualified teacher status
        • Are paid on the top of the teachers’ pay scale
        • Apply before the end of the academic year

Q:      As a headteacher, what do I need to do?

A:      You have a duty to assess the application against the Threshold
        standards. Further advice is available on the teachernet website
        You should provide feedback whether the candidate is successful or not.

Q:      What support is available – for me as the Head, and for the teacher?

A:      The DfES is no longer providing hard copies of the Threshold Guidance.
        Information is however available on the teachernet website (see above).
        Support is available from the LEA through the commissioning process
        and on courses.

Q:      How far back can movement to the Upper Pay Spine be backdated?

A:      Eligibility to move to Upper Pay Spine 1 can take effect from 1
        September either at the beginning of the year in which the Threshold
        application is submitted or the following year. The general principle,
        based on recent previous years, is that the teacher must have been paid
        on M6 for a year before they can move to UPS1.

Q:      Is there a grant available for the school to fund the uplift in salary –
        from Main Pay Scale to Upper Pay Scale?

A:      Yes, up to 31 March 2006, the uplift is 100% funded, including the
        increased on-costs. We have no information about funding beyond
        1 April 2006.

Q:      When I have assessed someone as meeting the standards, who do I
        need to tell to ensure that their salary is amended?

A:      A notification form has been developed within the LEA. Copies are
        available from the WES website or from Jenny Perry on telephone
        number 01926 738529. This form, signed by the headteacher,
        authorises the change of salary and the grant payment to the school.
        There is no limit to the number of forms that can be submitted by a
        school in any academic year.

Q:      I have recently appointed a teacher from another school who
        wishes to apply to go through the Threshold. Should they submit
        their application to me, even though their evidence relates to their
        previous school, or to their previous headteacher?

A:      Teachers who cite evidence from more than one school (eg. teachers
        who have changed jobs or supply teachers who have had experience at
        a number of schools) should submit their application to the headteacher
        of the school they are contracted to work in on the date of submission of
        their application. The assessing headteacher should consult with the
        headteachers of the other schools in assessing the application and the
        previous heads should participate in the assessment.

Q:      One of my teachers also works at another school. Who should
        carry out the assessment?

A:      Teachers can only make one application regardless of the number of
        schools they work in. Where a teacher is simultaneously employed at
        two or more schools, they should submit their application to the school at
        which they spend the most time or, where they work for the same amount
        of time in both schools, the school at which they have been employed the
        longest. The assessing headteacher should consult with the other
        headteachers in assessing the application. Where all the relevant heads
        agree, it is possible for any one of them to assess the application if

Q:      What is the difference between performance management and
        threshold assessment?

A:      Performance management is an ongoing process which applies to all
        teachers throughout their careers. Threshold assessment is a separate
        one-off assessment at a fixed point in a teacher’s career which then
        gives the teacher access to the upper pay scale.

                     MOVEMENT ON THE UPPER PAY SPINE

Q:      When should I be making decisions about movement on the Upper
        Pay Spine?

A:      The timing of pay progression decisions depends on the school’s
        performance review cycle. However all teachers are entitled to an
        annual salary review on 1 September. It is logical that performance
        objectives are set for each academic year and therefore for
        performance reviews to take place close to the end of the period either
        towards the end of the summer term or as soon as practicable at the
        beginning of the autumn term.

Q:      Is there grant available for movement on the Upper Pay Spine (i.e.
        From 1 to 2 and 2 to 3)?

A:      Currently there is funding available for progression to UPS2 and UPS3
        based on eligibility, at approx 88% and 77% respectively. Beyond
        1 April 2006 it is likely that funds will be put into the school’s delegated
        budget formula. This is to be taken to the Schools Forum this term and
        schools will be informed.

Q:      What happens in the case of a teacher on UPS1 who has had 2
        periods of maternity leave and now wants to be considered for

A       Maternity leave counts as statutory/contractual absence and should not
        prevent a teacher being considered for pay/performance progression.
        In order to move from UPS1 toUPS2 or UPS2 to UPS3 a teacher should
        normally have completed two successful consecutive reviews. This
        may not have been possible in the case of this teacher. However, the
        bottom line upon which a decision might be made is: 'Has the teacher
        made sustained and substantial contribution within the two year period’?

Q:      What does ‘sustained and substantial’ performance mean?

A:      In order to recommend teachers for progression to UPS2 or UPS3, a
        headteacher must be satisfied that a teacher has made ‘substantial and
        sustained contribution to the school’ normally over a 2 year period. As
        well as maintaining Threshold standards, teachers should have grown
        professionally by developing their teaching expertise post Threshold.
        The LEA has issued two guidance documents designed to help
        teachers and schools identify performance that might be expected of a
        teacher at UPS2 and UPS3. These documents were included as
        Appendix B and Appendix C in the Performance Management Update
        issued to schools by the LEA in September 2004.

Q:      I have a teacher who has had eight weeks’ absence. Does this
        disadvantage them from progression to Threshold/UPS1/UPS2?
        Do they have to wait a year?

A:      Advice within the latest Threshold Documentation (Threshold Standards
        Assessment Rounds. DfES 0779 2004) states:
        ‘For the purpose of the evidence period a year is defined as when a
        teacher has completed periods of employment amounting to at least 26
        weeks in the aggregate within a twelve month period, with the total 2 – 3
        year relevant evidence period ending at the date of the application. A
        period of employment for this purpose starts on the beginning of the
        week in which the employment commences and finishes at the end of
        the week in which it is terminated, and includes any holiday periods or
        absences as a result of injury and sickness and whether the teacher’s
        service has been full-time, part-time regular or otherwise. Periods of
        absence on maternity, pregnancy, paternity, adoption or parental leave,
        which is statutory or contractual, also count towards the 26 week period.
        Governing bodies also have discretion to recognise other absences to
        count towards the 26 week period’.

Q:      What evidence do teachers need to produce to support movement
        on the Upper Pay Spine?

A:      Progression on the upper pay spine should be based on two successful
        performance reviews. All teaching staff have an entitlement to an annual
        review, which as prescribed by the appraisal regulations involves a
        review of:
        • Performance objectives
        • Classroom observation
        • Other evidence on overall performance

        The review statement is agreed between the reviewee and the reviewer,
        who may be a team leader. The team leader may discuss the
        performance review with the headteacher but cannot make any
        recommendations on pay progression. It is important that teachers are
        clear about any areas for development arising from the review,
        particularly where the developments arise as a result of concerns about
        whether the teacher is making a substantial and sustained contribution
        to the school against the Threshold standards. There is no requirement
        for teachers to produce a separate portfolio of evidence to support
        progression, but increasingly they are finding it helpful to keep a record
        of professional development linked to Threshold Standards from the end
        of their induction. The Warwickshire Professional Learning Framework
        contains an exemplar document.

Q:      There has been a tradition in my school of teachers moving
        through the Upper Pay Spine almost automatically. I now have a
        member of staff who is eligible for UPS 2 but whom I feel does not
        meet the standards I would expect at this level. What options are
        open to me?

A:      It is important that schools have clear procedures in place for making
        decisions on UPS progression so that all staff feel they are being
        treated equally.
        The expectation required of teachers wanting to move up the pay scale
        need to be clearly elaborated by schools so that staff are fully aware of
        the performance identified as meeting UPS 2 and UPS 3 requirements.
        (The LEA has issued Guidance Documents to help headteachers with
        this process). See Performance Management Update Autumn 2004.

        If a teacher is felt not to be meeting requirements for progression:
        • They should have been made aware of the situation in professional
             review discussions and appropriate objectives agreed. The
             successful achievement of these objectives might merit progression
             on the UPS.
        • Where the headteacher has not been able to set objectives (head or
             teacher new to the school), the headteacher may choose to identify
             PM objectives related to the next point on the Upper Pay Scale. If a
             teacher successfully achieves the targets during the annual cycle,
             the headteacher may feel it appropriate to award the extra point
             backdated to the beginning of the academic year.

Q:      I have a new member of staff eligible to UPS 3 this year but I have
        no evidence on which to make a decision. What should I do?

A:      Hold a meeting with the teacher to discuss performance expected at
        UPS 3 and ask them to provide you with evidence of how the feel they
        meet the requirements. This evidence could be verbal or written, if the
        teacher wishes to provide it from their own records.
        • Contact the previous headteacher and ask him/her to comment on
            the teacher’s suitability against your expectations of performance
        • Agree objectives related to UPS3 expectations and backdate the
            pay award upon their successful achievement

Q:      When I recommend teachers to Governors for pay progression, do
        I provide names?

A:      Many headteachers will provide a list of names. However, advice from
        the LEA has been that, while teachers might be named, Headteachers
        should refrain from providing reasons. Governors may wish to satisfy
        themselves that the headteacher has adhered to agreed procedures in
        arriving at a decision, but the actual reasons for that decision are the
        headteacher’s responsibility.

Q:      Is it up to a teacher to inform their headteacher of their wish to
        move to UPS2/3, or should the headteacher tell the appropriate
        teachers that they are eligible?

A:      Once a teacher has been at UPS1/UPS2 for 2 years, they are eligible
        for consideration for pay progression. Headteachers may wish to write

        to appropriate teachers informing them that they are eligible and will be
        considered unless they state their wish to remain on their current pay
        scale. Alternatively headteachers may automatically consider all those
        eligible for advancement. In either case, it is presumed that a
        discussion of where the teacher is placed on the pay/career ladder and
        next stages is likely to have taken place in the professional review

Q:      What is the appeals process concerning Threshold and UPS

A:      The procedure for dealing with any appeal regarding pay decisions
        should be detailed in the school’s pay policy.

        The LEA will shortly be providing a model policy – This will be available
        on the ‘WES on line’ website. Teachernet also has a model policy
        which schools can download.

              The Performance Management of Supply Teachers

Q:      I have a supply teacher working occasionally in my school who
        wishes to apply to cross the Threshold and has asked me if I will
        assess their application. What should I do?

A:      DfES guidance states that Threshold Applications are to be handed in to
        the individual teacher’s current employer, so supply Teachers must
        submit their form to the headteacher of the school in which they are
        working at the time or where a teacher works in a number of schools to
        the headteacher of the school in which they have been working for the
        longest time.

        Only one headteacher is responsible for processing the application
        form, although you may wish to consult with the headteachers of other
        schools in which the supply teacher has been working.

Q:      Do I make special allowances to Supply Teachers?

A:      The DfES makes quite clear that supply teachers are not a special case,
        and that the requirements made of teachers employed on a permanent
        basis by schools apply equally to them.

Q:      If I take on a Supply Teacher who is paid at UPS1, UPS2/UPS3 is
        there funding available?

A:      Yes, an exercise to identify such teachers is carried out each year and
        funding provided. However, from 1 April 2006 it is likely that this will be
        in the school’s delegated budget formula.

                          Excellent Teacher Scheme (ETS)

Q:      I have a teacher currently at UPS3 who has expressed an interest
        in acquiring Excellent Teacher Status (ETS). What should I be
        doing now?

        •   The decision to create Excellent Teacher posts rests with schools.
            The number of posts created will be determined in the context of the
            staffing reviews being conducted this term. Schools may however
            create Excellent Teacher Post at any time in the future.
        •   Since Excellent Teachers may not hold TLR posts at the same time
            as an ETS post, in carrying out the Staffing Review headteachers
            and governing bodies will need to take the whole staffing structure
            into account when deciding how many ET posts to create.
        •   In agreeing Personal Professional Objectives for this year’s
            Professional Review, individual teachers might consider the ET
            Standards in order to develop skills and expertise required of the

Q:      Who can apply for an Excellent Teacher Post?

A:      To be eligible to apply, teachers must:
        • Have been paid at UPS3 for at least 2 years when they take up the
        • Be willing to meet the professional duties of an Excellent Teacher
        • Be either:
                  a. employed in a school where a vacancy for an Excellent
                      Teacher exists or
                  b. have been assessed already as having met the Excellent
                      Teacher Standards

Q:      How do teachers apply?

A:      An Excellent Teacher application pack will be published in Spring 2006.
        When applying for a post, teachers must apply in writing to their
        • Summarising the evidence that shows they meet the Excellent
           Teacher criteria
        • Demonstrating that they meet the entry requirements
        • Providing any other information requested in the job vacancy notice.
        The head teacher will then consider whether to support applications for
        assessment and forward the selected applications for external
        assessment. It is the External Assessor who will make the final
        determination about whether a teacher meets the ET standards.

Q:      Where can I find out more?

A:      The DfES has now (Sept 05) published Guidance on the ETS.
        ( Annex C of the document lists the Excellent
        Teacher Standards.

                                        Pay Policy

Q:      What advice/guidance is currently available from the LEA?

A:      The LEA Model Pay Policy and Guidance is currently being updated, in
        the light of the School Teachers Pay and Conditions Document 2005. It
        will go to the teaching unions shortly and then be available on the WES

Q:      Should teaching staff be aware of the contents of the policy?

A:      Yes, all staff, teaching and support staff should be aware of and have
        access to the schools pay policy.

Q:      How often should the policy be reviewed?

A:      The policy should be reviewed annually, and amended when
        appropriate, so that it both reflects good practice and deals with any
        issues, which have risen over the past year. As part of the review, staff
        and their representatives should be consulted.

Q:      Where can we find a model Performance Management Policy?

A:      A model policy can be found on

Q:      Should the PM Policy contain details of an appeal procedure?

A:      The appeals/complaints procedure should be clearly defined in the pay

                The Performance Management of Support Staff

Q:      Do I have a legal duty to performance manage support staff in my

A:      Though it is not a statutory duty to PM support staff it is considered
        good practice and many positive benefits can be gained from having a
        PM process in place.

Q:      Do senior managers and HTs have to PM support staff?

A:      No, providing line managers of support staff ie Teaching Assistants,
        Senior Administrators, Site Managers have been trained in being a team
        leader for Performance Management they, as line managers can carry
        out the process and set objectives.

Q:      How many objectives would be considered reasonable?

A:      Three would seem a reasonable and manageable number. One whole
        school, one related to the individual’s everyday practice and one
        personal objective which does not have to be school related (to
        encourage worklife balance).

Q:      Is PM of support staff linked to pay progression?

A:      No, unlike teachers, support staff can progress through the increments
        within their scale without the endorsement of PM. However, there is no
        reason why taking on additional roles/responsibilities during the course
        of a year cannot be rewarded with financial renumeration.

Q:      How can I get my support staff trained in order to become team

A:      EDS offer training through courses or commissions


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