Appraisals fail to deliver results

26th April 1996 at 01:00
The Government's Pounds 50 million teacher-appraisal scheme has improved teaching in only one-fifth of the schools visited by HM Inspectors and almost all headteachers have avoided linking appraisal with pay and promotion, according to a report by the Office for Standards in Education.

The findings led Chris Woodhead, the chief inspector of schools, to call this week for a closer link between the two. But his view was criticised by Ted Wragg, professor of education at Exeter University, who is about to publish his own book on appraisal. "There's no evidence that the system is screaming out for merit payments," he said.

The inspectors' report, based on visits to more than 300 schools, found that only a handful linked pay and appraisal, evidence which will be considered in a joint review by OFSTED and the Teacher Training Agency.

The inspectors' report said targets for teachers identified during appraisal should be more sharply focused on improvements in classroom practice and be attainable.

"There is too little evidence that appraisal is contributing as much as it should to raising pupils' standards of achievement and to improving teachers' levels of performance," it concluded.

Mr Woodhead is being appraised today by Michael Bichard, permanent secretary at the Department for Education and Employment. He could get a bonus on top of his Pounds 82,000 salary.

The Appraisal of Teachers 1991-1996, free from OFSTED Publications, PO Box 6927, London E3 3NZ.

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