Opinion Former Article

Report confirms that use of crude data targets in teachers' performance management must now end

Commenting on the publication by the DfE of the Independent Workload Advisory Group report on data, Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT – The Teachers’ Union, said:

“This report confirms the NASUWT’s longstanding concerns about the unacceptable way in which too many schools use pupil performance data in teachers’ performance management.

“While pupil assessment data has an important role to play in teaching and learning, the Advisory Group is correct in its finding that its use by schools in their performance management systems is often poor.  Teaching is a complex and multifaceted activity that cannot be reduced to crude targets based on pupils’ test or assessment outcomes.

“The Advisory Group’s message is clear: schools must stop using assessment data to deny pay progression to teachers or to call their competence into question. This data is simply not valid or reliable enough to be used for highly consequential decisions about teachers’ performance or their pay. The report notes rightly that when data is used for this purpose, it often results in burnout and attrition from the profession.

“There is no excuse for persisting with this debilitating and entirely irrational practice. The NASUWT will continue to challenge those schools and employers that choose to do so. The Union will also press the DfE to take effective action to ensure that the report’s findings are implemented in full in every school.” 


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