About | 01.11.2017 | By Paul Simpson

A member enquires about the use of generic appraisal forms for ToDs

Please could you offer any guidance on ToD appraisals? My manager wants to do an observation on us based on the teaching standards for classroom teachers. He wants to observe a 1:1 teaching session with full lesson plan, etc. However he is not taking our qualification into account and the sheet he has given us is just for general classroom teachers. Do you know what BATOD advises and/or what other authorities do? We felt the ToD qualification should form part of our appraisal. Do you have examples of what other authorities do?

We also do not have a teachers’ appraisal document but use the general LA one. Again we would value guidance on this. Should there not be a specific teachers’ appraisal system?

The consultant replied:

This is not something we have been asked before, unusually.

We don’t have a APMR form ourselves, specific for Teachers of the Deaf. It is not unusual for LAs to use their own forms for all centrally employed teachers and this has not been an issue as far as we are aware.

What might be useful would be to write an ‘aide mémoire’ of areas which should be considered when making observations for Teachers of the Deaf.

The member replied with a further query:

The other issue is that the service does not have a specific teachers’ policy for centrally employed teachers – only the general LA appraisal form for non-teaching staff. Is it acceptable to use that? I think a section on what to consider when observing Teachers of the Deaf would be great. Is it acceptable to be judged against only the general classroom teacher standards without taking the ToD qualification into account is the fundamental question?

The Consultant replied:

We do not know of any LAs who have a specific observation form for different roles – usually a generic form can be used. It would be useful to know what other centrally employed teachers use and if there have been any problems with the generic form. The observation must take into account the role of the employee. The role of a TA is vastly different from that of a teacher and would be judged differently according to their individual roles. Whilst I can see your point I am struggling to see how a dedicated form would be useful given that the observations are based on a clear knowledge of the role. Perhaps what is required in your case is a full explanation of your role (they are often different in different LAs) to which to assess your performance. We have a number of documents about the role of the ToD which you will find useful. I would recommend you write such a document (or use something from BATOD) and discuss it with your manager.

The member concluded:

I think our difficulty is that we do not have centrally employed forms for any of the other teachers and we are going to be judged on a classroom teacher role with lesson plans, etc needed when we are mainly advisory and this is then to be fitted into the generic council appraisal system for non-teaching staff!