Removing appraisal – a workload reduction win
Removing teacher appraisal is a key workload reduction win from the settlement of the teacher collective agreements this year.
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 will introduce a bill to parliament to remove teacher appraisal from legislation. The expected timeframe is for the bill to be introduced by the end of 2019, with the intention that it comes into effect on 1 July 2020.
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 law change.
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.
Alternatives to burdensome appraisal
Instead of burdensome appraisal systems, teachers are advised to:
• Have professional conversations with each other (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, not create evidential documents
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.
Branch officers can get a detailed guide on moving the school away from current appraisal systems by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org