The Optimus blog

The blog that inspires leaders in the UK education sector

The Optimus blog

The blog that inspires leaders in the UK education sector

Alex Masters

Supporting your support staff with positive appraisals

The word ‘appraisal’ often conjures images of clipboards and awkward conversations. Alex Masters explores how this process can bring out the best in your teams.

It’s the time of year for appraisals and, as part of their role, many SBMs carry these out for their school’s support staff. Indeed, these are critical for developing, motivating and improving staff. They also demonstrate to Ofsted and governors how rigorous management contributes to a school’s success. SBMs have told us this is a responsibility they often dread: they worry about difficult conversations and the best ways to give constructive feedback; they also want to know more about setting personal development plans and who to consult and inform during the process. Thankfully, we have SBM consultant, Cate Hart, to offer expert advice and answer any questions you may have. Cate, who has over 13 years’ experience as an SBM, will be presenting a live webinar ‘Support staff appraisals: expert advice’ on Tues 6 October where she will share her top tips for a successful appraisal, and the pitfalls to avoid. You’ll be able to ask any questions on the day, and have a reply on the spot.

Objectives of the webinar

  • Know how to plan for appraisals.
  • Who should be consulted and informed about appraisals.
  • The process of reviewing staff.
  • Sensitivity and difficult conversations.

You’ll come away feeling positive and confident about the appraisal process and comfortable in the knowledge that you can use your influence and expertise to ensure effective CPD and professionalisation for your support staff. We also have some great advice from SBM expert, Ruth Bradbury in our article ‘Support staff review and restructure’. We have a brief summary of her advice to take away:

  1. Before you start: consult with HR and governors and inform staff.
  2. Check relevant policies and see if they are due for review.
  3. Review the effectiveness of your existing structure.
  4. Consider the school’s wider strategic aims.
  5. Identify how every post holder contributes daily to the success of the school.
  6. Be aware that any restructuring may well involve redundancies.
  7. Gain governing body approval, publish, consult, revise, present and inform staff.

Now you can begin to allocate posts.

Having trouble accessing the resources above? Why not find out how Optimus supports schools with their CPD provision and request a demo of In-House Training and Knowledge Centre or take a free trial.

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