3.8.4 Quality assurance

Regular monitoring and assessment of teaching by qualified, supportive colleagues can support teachers in using appropriate methods and practices and foster their professional development, thus contributing to overall education quality. Teacher assessment should include supporting teachers to identify whether student are achieving the desired learning outcomes and implement appropriate remedial action where necessary. In many countries, teacher assessments are undertaken by inspectors, members of specialist inspectorates attached to regional education authorities, or under the auspices of national education departments or ministries. Since these external inspectors may be feared and mistrusted by teachers, their visits can disrupt school routines and be a major source of teacher anxiety and stress. Where external inspectorates are used, inspectors should be recruited according to well-designed competence frameworks, ensuring that they have the knowledge, competences and attributes to assess and support teachers. Furthermore, inspectors should use unambiguous and inclusive assessment frameworks in a consistent, objective and equitable manner. They should receive training, particularly with regard to equity, non-discrimination and avoiding bias. Inspections should be constructive rather than punitive, focusing on providing formative feedback to inform continuous improvement.Footnote 27

A growing trend is a move away from external inspections and towards more collegial, flexible and school-based systems of teacher evaluation (ILO, 2012: 94). Fellow teachers, head teachers, school management bodies, school councils or boards of governors and learners can all play a part in teacher evaluation, which can also include self-assessment. Where these methods are used, those responsible for assessing teachers should also receive training to undertake consistent, objective, equitable and constructive assessment.

A teacher policy should also provide for evaluating the performance of school leaders, determine the frequency and method of evaluation, and establish clear and transparent evaluation criteria. Appraisal systems for school leaders will include gathering feedback on their performance from the teachers and other individuals they manage, as well as from their own managers. The evaluation criteria will be aligned and integrated with national education policy and priorities; they may include criteria such as student learning outcomes; student care; teacher management and supervision; and teacher satisfaction and retention. Evaluation and appraisal systems should be integrated with CPD and other opportunities for career development. The people responsible for evaluating the performance of school leaders should be properly trained. The evaluation process ‘should not become a pro-forma, box ticking exercise and should be discerning enough to understand underlying behaviour patterns which have come about as a result of effective management’ (ILO, 2012: 45).

3.8.3 Performance evaluation and incentives

3.9 School governance