Made to measure

10th November 2000 at 00:00
Lynne Taylor continues her assessment of performance management by assessing the ways in which ICT can help teachers meet target objectives

The art of planning

Made to measure is all about offering common sense help with using information and communications technology (ICT) within the performance management cycle. First of all though, let's have a quick reminder of the cycle. Performance management is an ongoing process rather than a one-off event and involves three stages:

* planning - priorities and objectives will be identified with your team leader and there will be a discussion of how progress will be monitored;

* monitoring - team leaders will review progress throughout the period through classroom observation, consultation and data tracking, taking any supportive action needed;

* review - a teacher's overall performance will be evaluated taking account of progress against objectives set.

During the planning stage all teachers will discuss and confirm objectives with their team leader and record these in individual plans. It is expected that a minimum of three and no more than five or six objectives will be agreed.

Depending on the teacher's responsibilities the range of objectives should include:

* professional development objectives - ways to recognise your strengths and develop you as a better teacher;

* pupil progress objectives - ways to confirm the success of your teaching and to further the progress of the pupils in your classes;

* leadershipmanagement objectives - ways to acknowledge your leadership quality and make you a better leader.

Hitting the target

A school has overall performance and target figures to reach. It is now essential everyone understands the data laid out in the school's PANDA. There's some advice on this at the Made to measure website

Teachers will need to do their bit to achieve this and the leadership group will have worked out how this can be done and will produce specific targets for each teacher to achieve. For example, if a school needs to increase its key stage 3 mathematics results by a known per cent, the mathematics co-ordinator or department head must determine how best to achieve this within each class and will allocate a slice of improvement to each maths teacher to achieve. There's more information on this at the Made to measure website.

* How can ICT help?

We are told the objectives set during the planning stage should be measurable so it is essential that ICT support is implemented to save time and yield better outcomes. The performance management cycle links every aspect of school management, including pupil achievement and progress and target setting.

Everyone will use a word processor to write reports but how do you plan for pupil tracking, reviewing schedules, classroom observation, training needs analysis and overseeingwhole school developments and needs? My Magic Markbook series, ( provides ways of using ICT to record, track and report pupil achievements and I have extended this at Here I have shown how standard "office" software can be used in performance management, and have created templates to help.

* Threshold payments, performance management and pupil progress

It is now clear these are inseparable - realistically they always have been. On the Department for Education and Employment's site, after following the School Teachers Review Body (STRB) 2000 and Question and Answer links you will find this:

"Q. Why has the STRB recommended the retention of the 'pupil progress' standard, which has proved so controversial?" "A. The STRB acknowledged the concerns expressed about the 'pupil progress' standard. However, they believedI that this standard should be part of the all-round process for identifying effective teachers."

In the performance management guidelines on the same site you will find:

"Teacher objectives will cover pupil progress as well as ways of developing and improving teachers' professional practice."

The performance cycle is an on-going process that applies to all teachers throughout their careers. Threshold assessment is a separate one-off assessment at a fixed point in a teacher's career. Pupil progress is at the centre of both.

* What to do next

Things to do before the next edition of Made to measure:

* Visit our website:;

* Download our latest files;

* Access and download new documents from the DFEE website

In the next edition we will show you effective use of IT during the monitoring process of the performance management cycle with methods for classroom monitoring. Meanwhile, please share your experiences with us.

* Error in both our ways

Finally, did you spot the mistake in last month's Made to measure? I inadvertently implied PMCs (performance management consultants) support governors in a head's performance review.

However, PMCs play no role in the head's review. It is an external adviser, supported by Cambridge Education Associates, who carries out this task. PMCs provide training and support for the implementation of performance management throughout the school.

I thought that since PMCs support the implementation of performance management and this is lead by the headteacher, there would be some communication between the external adviser overseeing a head's performance and the PMC. I am informed this is not so. The question is "Why not?" Lynne Taylor runs Cogent Computer Solutions, based in Kenilworth. Questions can be emailed to cogentcs@aol.comPrevious assessment materials can be accessed on the TES Online website

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