The moratorium on appraisal
What does the moratorium on appraisal mean?
The Teaching Council has informed principals that for terms three and four, there will be no requirement for teachers to collect evidence about meeting the Standards for the Teaching Profession, ngā Paerewa. In addition, from term three there will no longer be an ERO audit of appraisals.
Removing teacher appraisal is a key workload reduction win from the settlement of the teacher collective agreements last year.
The PPTA has published a guide to assist branches and employers in reviewing their current performance management system with the goal of eliminating unnecessary workload from the process. To download the document, "Shedding the appraisal compliance burden", click the link at the top of this page.
Minister of Education Chris Hipkins, PPTA president Jack Boyle, and Secretary for Education Iona Holsted all expressed no confidence in teacher appraisal, noting there is a lack of evidence that appraisal lifts teacher quality or improves student outcomes.
The current system has contributed to a low trust environment, which is good for no one. Now is the time to move towards a high trust model. To this end, Minister Hipkins has introduced a bill to parliament to remove teacher appraisal from legislation. This has passed and is awaiting the Governor General’s royal assent.
Time to wind down appraisal processes
In the meantime, members and branches are advised to wind down their current appraisal processes in anticipation of the royal assent.
There is already no requirement for onerous items like inquiry or portfolios of evidence. The Teaching Council of Aotearoa New Zealand clarifies this below, where it is also stated the Council relies on the opinion of professional teachers, not paperwork.
Latest appraisal news (teachingcouncil.nz)
Alternatives to burdensome appraisal
Instead of burdensome appraisal systems, teachers are advised to:
- have professional conversations with one another (at least two per year)
- undertake an annual lesson observation (two in the case of PCTs)
- engage in reflective practice
- undertake professional learning and development
- have brief documentation of the fact that the above actions have occurred (do not create evidential documents)
The PPTA is interested in what branches are doing as we move towards the new low-workload, high-trust environment. We want to share stories through the PPTA News, so please make contact with us if you have a story to share with your comrades across the motu.
Contact: Anna Kirtlan firstname.lastname@example.org
Branch officers can get a detailed guide on moving the school away from current appraisal systems by emailing email@example.com