Since its introduction in 2014, there has been a sense of unease amongst teaching staff with regards to the PRP process and how it would work, or benefit them. Damien Roberts, Business Development Director at SchooliP by Derventio, discusses how PRP can create a positive and productive school environment when the process is manageable, simple and unified.
The implementation of PRP in schools should motivate teachers and encourage best practice amongst staff, yet recent research released by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) and the National Union of Teachers (NUT) revealed that one in 12 teachers have been denied a salary increase since PRP was introduced. What this highlights is a need for schools to make sure their PRP process is as efficient and transparent as possible, making sure all staff are fully aware of exactly what needs to be achieved in order to be entitled to pay progression.
Performance management in schools is generally implemented at the start of the academic year, but quite often instead of it being something regularly visited throughout the year, it can sometimes get lost amongst teaching, lesson planning and exam preparation. This means when objectives and pay are reviewed at the end of the year, teachers may find it challenging to measure exactly where they are against their targets. This is where an effective system which centralises the process will be of benefit to teachers and senior leaders, supporting all aspects of dialogue throughout and allowing evidence to be easily captured and recorded.
Using a system that combines the entire PRP process in a central online system will allow progress to be tracked regularly, evidence to be easily added and a constant dialogue between staff member and their line manager can take place to ensure that objectives are realistic and the process unified.
Using a system that combines the entire PRP process in a central online system will allow progress to be tracked regularly, evidence to be easily added and a constant dialogue between staff member and their line manager can take place to ensure that objectives are realistic and the process unified
Despite the ATL research finding that over half of teachers believe that PRP increased their workload, this shouldn’t be the case if a school has an efficient online system for performance management that is easily accessible for staff, ideally via a smartphone or other electronic device. The ability to record evidence digitally using mobiles and upload it directly to an online system ensures that nothing gets lost throughout the year and can easily be retrieved when staff need to demonstrate how they have met their objectives. It is also important for the software to be able to notify staff and their line managers of any missing evidence, so that they have the opportunity to upload evidence ahead of their end-of-year review, and are able to deduce whether or not they’ve hit their target and earned pay progression.
Supporting evidence can include photographs of students work and wall displays. Staff can even share video recordings, especially for those lessons which may be harder to articulate and visualise on paper, for example, recording students re-enacting a scene from a play during a drama lesson. All of the evidence captured can also be shared as best practice with other teachers.
With the majority of people owning a smartphone, it simplifies the process, allowing teachers to record and document progress instantly, without having to worry about filing paperwork that could get lost throughout the year. With digital capabilities in place, teachers can provide as much evidence as they want and feel confident that they’re meeting both theirs and the school’s overall objectives.
There are many benefits to PRP, both from a school’s and a teacher’s perspective, so having a manageable and simple central online system that aligns everyone’s expectations and objectives, and incorporates all elements of performance management ensures that the process is unified, fair for all and effective. Once an efficient system is in place, PRP becomes a truly transparent process which benefits all teaching staff, allowing them to provide as much evidence as possible to ensure pay is earned, rather than expected, and teachers strive to excel in their profession.