Performance Management and Pay Cycle

The head teacher will determine the timing of the appraisal cycle for every teacher at the school. Timings should be laid out in the school’s Performance Management Policy and should  also link with the school’s planning cycle including the School Improvement Plan and may also take account of the annual pay cycle.

Examples of a school Performance Management cycle:


  • Consider the guidelines and recommendations set by the Department of Education
  • Consider the recommendations from the teacher unions
  • Review the sample policies
  • Plan integration of pay with;
    - performance management/appraisal
    - teachers, leaders and HLTA's standards
    - school objectives
    - department/key stage objectives
    - individual PM objectives
    - CPD
    - school budget planning
    - evidence gathering
  • Set timescale for implementation
  • Decide consultation process
  • Set out the appeal process
  • Governors agree/implement policy

The impact of the pay policy should be monitored and evaluated on a regular basis.

Performance Management

For this stage of the cycle, schools should review their appraisal/performance management and also their procedures. These are examples of what questions should be addressed:

  • How does this integrate and inform the pay policy?
  • What is the line management structure
    - is this fit for purpose to inform pay?
  • Do teachers and line managers know what is expected of them?
  • What systems of quality assurance are there?
  • How are targets set and agreed?
  • What evidence is gathered?
  • What feedback is given?
  • Does this process help to raise standards?

The school's Performance Management policy may need to be reviewed to reflect the changes in their pay policy on a yearly basis.


Objectives and targets need to be reviewed in order to see if these are able to be used to inform the appraisal process. Objectives must:

  • be clear and easily understood
  • relate to the current job description
  • there should be no reference to extra curricular activities
  • the pay policy should make clear how pay will be determined when teachers are absent for any reason, for example, maternity or long-term sick leave.
  • shared objectives may be used
  • timescales for each objective must be realistic


The budget of the school needs to be reviewed in order to take into account pay progression of any teacher.

After the first year the school need to answer the question of, what percentage of your teachers are estimated to progress based upon appropriate evidence? Following answering this question the school need to take the answer for this question into the following year's budget.

Governors will need to consider budgetary implications of the pay decisions and consider their spending plans.


The school will need to consider and decide any appropriate evidence that will be used to determine/support a pay progression application. These might include:

  • Teachers, leaders and HLTA Standards
  • Appraisal/Performance management targets
  • Lesson Observations
  • Student Data
  • CPD
  • Relevant Work scrutinies
  • Lesson Planning
  • Practice, Review and Development Record (PRD) and any other appropriate evidence
  • Justification and evidence of pay decision

There should be a strong link between salary progression and the quality of teaching - this will form part of the judgement on the quality of leadership and management. Schools are free to withhold progression pay without any requirement to initiate or consider capability proceedings.

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