Joint Guidance On

Joint Guidance On



NASUWT and NUT have issued separate guidance to their members on Performance Management.

However, a number of issues have been identified on which both Unions consider additional advice, provided jointly, may prove helpful to members and representatives.

This joint advice does not replace the original separate guidance.


In the first year only, schools can decide on the length of the first review cycle. It must be no less than nine months and no longer than eighteen. The length of the first cycle should be agreed after consultation between the NASUWT and NUT representatives and members. Timescales which members consider impose an unreasonable burden on them should not be agreed.


All activities related to performance management must take place within directed time. The provisions of the NASUWT and NUT national action to reduce bureaucracy and excessive workload apply.

Increases in class size and reductions in support time should not be agreed to facilitate classroom observation, planning meetings or any other performance management related activity.

The implementation of performance management should not increase teachers’ workload. Heads must prioritise activities and identify tasks which no longer need to be undertaken to release time for it.


The number

To ensure that workload is kept to a minimum and in the interests of equality, three objectives only should be set for all teachers and heads. Members should not agree to more.

Shared objectives

There are strong arguments for the use of objectives which are shared by teachers on a whole school, year group or departmental basis. Such arrangements are not prohibited by the Regulations and can reduce the burdens of performance management.

Whole school objectives would be shared by teachers and the head, agreed outside the planning meeting and appended to or noted on the teacher’s individual planning record. Year group or departmental objectives would be dealt with in the same way.

There are benefits to shared objectives. They engender teambuilding and equality of opportunity, facilitate more effective planning of resources and address the difficulties the pupil progress requirement of the Regulations poses for individual teachers.

If shared objectives are used an individual teacher could, for example, have a whole school, departmental/year group and individual objective.

Pupil progress

With regard to the incorporation of the pupil progress element required by the Regulations, members should not agree to objectives, either shared or individual, which commit them to improving pupil progress by a specified percentage.

Inappropriate objectives

Under no circumstances should members agree objectives they believe are inappropriate, unachievable and impose unreasonable burdens upon them. If agreement with the teamleader cannot be reached, members should seek advice and support from their union.


The documents NASUWT and NUT have included in their separate advice are designed to keep bureaucracy to the minimum. Members could enhance this further by agreeing an overall word limit as a benchmark for the completed review statement (excluding the teacher’s comments), whilst of course ensuring that all key information is recorded clearly and unambiguously.

In accordance with the provisions of the national action to reduce bureaucracy, members, therefore, should not agree to the use of any of the documentation advocated by the DfES Performance Management Model Policy, including in particular the classroom observation checklist, outside that specified in each Union’s guidance.

In addition, any document proposed by the school which grades a teacher’s performance, other than to confirm it is satisfactory, must not be used.


Timing and identification of lessons to be observed

Members should be advised in good time of the lessons to be observed. What constitutes ‘in good time’ should be agreed with NASUWT and NUT representatives.

In circumstances where members believe that the proposed timing of classroom observation poses an unreasonable workload burden, the provisions of the national action apply.

Members must ensure that the lessons selected for observation are a balanced reflection of the range of their work.

NASUWT and NUT believe that excessive classroom observation is a serious problem in many schools. The provisions of performance management have the potential to exacerbate this. Steps must be taken to prevent this.

Both Unions have issued detailed advice to members on this issue and are concerned also about the overall levels of classroom observation. Members may wish to adopt a joint approach to secure, from the school management, agreement on a limit on the total amount of classroom observation for any purpose to which teachers can be subjected within the academic year. The amount to be allocated for performance management can be identified specifically within any overall limit.


Attempts may be made to introduce self-review into the performance management process. This may appear in a number of guises such as self-evaluation or appraisal. Members should not participate in such schemes. They are not required by the Regulations and invariably create additional work and bureaucracy.

Both Unions have agreed to continuing dialogue on issues which cause bureaucratic burdens and excessive workload on teachers.

Doug McAvoyNigel de Gruchy

General SecretaryGeneral Secretary

Joint Guidance on Performance Management(Wednesday 29 August 2001)