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education.vic.gov.au

Performance and Development for Teacher Class Employees

Policy last updated

19 October 2021

Scope

  • Schools

Contact

Improvement Support Unit


Date:
March 2020

Overview

Alternative Performance and Development Processes for 2021 and 2022

The performance and development processes in 2021 and 2022 provides the opportunity for teacher class employees to choose to undertake the standard Performance and Development Plan (PDP) process or an alternative Statement of Expectation process. For more information please refer to the 2021 Statement of Expectation and 2022 Statement of Expectation within the Policy and Guidelines tab of this topic.

Overview

Introduction

The performance and development arrangements for employees are designed to:

  • support the school in meeting its responsibilities to students, parents and to government through linking employee performance with achievement of school and government policies and targets
  • provide feedback on performance which will support ongoing learning and development of employees with a focus on ways in which student learning can be improved
  • enhance the capacity of employees in promotion positions to apply the leadership and management competencies required in their positions
  • recognise effective performance through salary progression
  • provide a supportive environment for improving performance where the required standards are not met

To access performance and development arrangements for the teacher class, refer to the Policy and Guidelines tab. 

The performance and development policy and guidelines for principal class employees and education support class employees are listed separately. Refer to:

For information regarding the annual progression cycle, refer to Remuneration — Teaching Service.

Performance and development approach

The performance and development approach provides consistent processes and language to support performance and development in Victorian government schools.

Performance and Development Guidelines

The Performance and Development Guidelines contain the policy and guidance for school professional development. They include a number of important pieces of information including:

  • an overview of the stages in the performance and development cycle
  • valuable information to help develop effective and constructive goals
  • information on planning for formal feedback conversations

The Performance and Development Guidelines are available on the Policy and Guidance tab for each separate topic and should be viewed first whenever you have a question about the performance and development process.

Performance and development cycle stages

Performance and Development Plans (PDPs) are a key element of the approach, aligned to the performance and development cycle, which includes 3 key stages:

Contact

Improvement Support Unit


Policy and Guidelines

Policy and Guidelines for Performance and Development for Teacher Class Employees

These Guidelines contain the following chapters:

  • 2021 Statement of Expectation for Teacher Class Employees
  • 2022 Statement of Expectation for Teacher Class Employees
  • Introduction
  • The Framework for Improving Student Outcomes, whole school planning and the Annual Implementation Plan
  • Performance and development and the Annual Implementation Plan
  • Four days a year for professional practice
  • Department's Values
  • Online Performance and Development Plan
  • A whole-of-practice approach
  • Goal setting
  • The performance and development approach
  • Support and resources
  • Other information
  • Relevant research

2021 Statement of Expectation for Teacher Class Employees

2021 Statement of Expectation for Teacher Class Employees

The performance and development process in 2021 provides the opportunity for teacher class employees to choose to undertake the standard Performance and Development Plan (PDP) process or an alternative Statement of Expectation. Staff selecting the Statement of Expectation process are not required to complete any routine documentation or monitoring in eduPay.

The 2021 Statement of Expectation for teacher class employees is set out below. Teacher class employees are encouraged to consider how they contribute to these areas as appropriate to their role and setting.

1. Learning

Teacher class employees contribute to the collaborative development and delivery of effective teaching and learning programs and resources for the students they teach. These should be aligned with aspects of the school’s 2021 Annual Implementation Plan and be effectively differentiated to support all students. This will enable both learning catch-up and learning extension, including the 2021 Tutor Learning Initiative, where this is part of their role.

2. Wellbeing

Teacher class employees foster student health and wellbeing in their classrooms, including through engagement in the collaborative planning and delivery of health and wellbeing supports for students.

3. Connected schools

Teacher class employees contribute to building community and strengthening positive partnerships with parents, carers and other individuals and groups within the wider school community. 

At the start of the cycle

  • Teachers indicate to their reviewer if they will undertake the standard PDP process or the 2021 Statement of Expectation process, at any time prior to 30 April 2021.
  • Teachers discuss with their reviewers how their contributions accord with the 2021 Statement of Expectation.

Throughout the year

  • There will continue to be benefit in regular discussions between employees and reviewers.
  • Where there is a concern that an employee is not making an appropriate contribution to meet the Statement of Expectation, this concern should be raised with that employee in writing at the time the concern becomes apparent, and no later than 1 September 2021. Support must be provided to the employee and the opportunity to enable improvement in their contribution to meet the Statement of Expectation.

At the end of the cycle

  • At the end of semester 2, teachers will reflect on and be acknowledged for their learning, growth and contribution to the 2021 Statement of Expectation with their reviewers.
  • It is assumed that teacher class employees who opt-in to this process will meet the Statement of Expectation, in which case no action is required in eduPay.

2021 Statement of Expectation — Frequently asked questions

The following frequently asked questions have been developed to support school staff to implement the 2021 Statement of Expectation.


2022 Statement of Expectation for Teacher Class Employees

2022 Statement of Expectation for Teacher Class Employees

The performance and development process in 2022 provides the opportunity for teacher class employees to choose to undertake the standard Performance and Development Plan (PDP) process or an alternative Statement of Expectation. Staff selecting the Statement of Expectation process are not required to complete any routine documentation or monitoring in eduPay.

The 2022 Statement of Expectation for teacher class employees is aligned to the key improvement strategies of learning and wellbeing. Teacher class employees are encouraged to consider how they contribute to these areas as appropriate to their role and setting.

1. Learning

Teacher class employees contribute to the collaborative development and delivery of effective teaching, learning and assessment programs and resources for the students they teach. These should be aligned with aspects of the school’s 2022 Annual Implementation Plan and be effectively differentiated to support students. This will support student learning growth through the ongoing acquisition of knowledge, skills and capabilities defined by the Victorian Curriculum F-10 and senior secondary qualifications.

2. Wellbeing

Teacher class employees foster student health and wellbeing in their classrooms, including through engagement in the collaborative planning and delivery of supports to strengthen student wellbeing. Teachers build relationships that foster a positive school climate and strengthen positive partnerships with parents, carers and other individuals and groups to support students’ participation in and sense of belonging in the school community. This will support students to develop the capabilities necessary to thrive, contribute and respond positively to the challenges and opportunities of life.

At the start of the cycle

  • Teachers indicate to their reviewer if they will undertake the standard PDP process or the 2022 Statement of Expectation process, at any time prior to 30 April 2022
  • Teachers discuss how their contributions align with the 2022 Statement of Expectation

Throughout the year

  • The teacher and reviewer meet regularly throughout the year
  • Where there is a concern that an employee is not making an appropriate contribution to meet the Statement of Expectation this concern should be raised with the employee at the time the concern becomes apparent and no later than 1 September 2022 and provided in writing along with proposed improvement supports

At the end of the cycle

  • At the end of semester 2, teachers will reflect on and be acknowledged for their learning, growth and contribution to the Statement of Expectation with their reviewers
  • It is assumed that teacher class employees who opt-in to this process will meet the Statement of Expectation, in which case no action is required in eduPay

2022 Statement of Expectation – frequently asked questions

The following frequently asked questions have been developed to support school staff to implement the 2022 Statement of Expectation.


Introduction

Introduction

‘If students are to learn at higher levels, processes must be in place to ensure the ongoing, job-embedded learning of the adults who serve them’ (Dufour and Marzano, 2011).

High-quality teaching and leadership in every school is essential to Victoria’s success in supporting students’ achievement, wellbeing and engagement. To achieve this, our education system must empower and support teachers, leaders and support staff at every career stage to be the best they can.

The whole-of-practice approach to performance and development (the approach) outlined in these Guidelines promotes a consistent process and a common language for the evaluation and support of teacher performance and development in Victorian government schools. It is developmentally focused, and is designed to enable individual accountability and collective responsibility, to support collaborative professional learning and to improve the quality of teaching in every classroom. The approach:

  • promotes the development of thriving school cultures where continuous development of professional skills, knowledge and engagement are the norm, and are based on collaborative and mutually supportive workplaces
  • encourages teachers and school leaders to set high expectations and establish clear accountabilities for professional practice in a collaborative environment which values high quality, meaningful, and developmentally focused feedback
  • acknowledges the highly skilled and complex nature of quality teaching and builds on the excellent practices that already exist in many Victorian government schools and across the teaching profession

These Guidelines describe the whole-of-practice approach to performance and development as it applies to teachers. Key elements of the approach and what teachers, principals and reviewers need to do at each stage of the performance and development cycle are also described. This includes an outline of the relevant professional standards and advice on goal setting, collection of evidence and the provision of effective feedback.

To complement the approach, the Department will provide tools and resources to assist schools to advance their professional practice.


The Framework for Improving Student Outcomes, whole school planning and the Annual Implementation Plan

The Framework for Improving Student Outcomes, whole school planning and the Annual Implementation Plan

Schools can improve student outcomes by focusing effort on the high-impact improvement initiatives outlined in the Framework for Improving Student Outcomes (FISO) improvement model. The school’s Annual Implementation Plan (AIP) aligned to the school’s 4 year strategic plan, elaborates on and makes explicit, how the school’s chosen initiatives, goals, targets and key improvement strategies will be implemented, monitored and evaluated each year.

Annual implementation planning creates clarity and purpose for all members of the school community. Schools articulate the changes they want to see and define the evidence they expect to see if their plan is successful. The AIP provides guidance for specific approaches which may support the development of each staff member by connecting whole of school improvement strategies to the individual roles and responsibilities of staff in the school. It outlines mechanisms and routines to monitor actions, impacts are measured and issues identified. This can provide solid evidence for evaluation which may lead to changes in how the outcomes of the AIP are achieved.

Schools develop the AIP in partnership with school staff, Senior Education Improvement or Education Improvement Leaders (SEILs or EILs) and school councils. Together, they consider the needs of students and allocate resources (such as human and financial) available through the Student Resource Package (SRP) to address those needs. Shared responsibility, partnerships and transparency are key principles that support quality planning and improved student outcomes.


Performance and development and the Annual Implementation Plan

Performance and development and the Annual Implementation Plan

The Annual Implementation Plan (AIP) outlines activities and milestones that individuals or groups of staff will undertake and sets expectations for their impact on the knowledge, skills and mindsets of staff and students. The School Strategic Plan (SSP) outlines school improvement strategies for the next 4 years. Both the SSP and AIP should inform the principal’s Performance and Development Plan (PDP) as well as the PDPs of staff.

In general, activities and milestones in the AIP are task-oriented, such as attending or implementing professional learning, and are linked to a specific role within the school (for example, principal, assistant principal, leading teacher, key learning area leader, professional learning team leader, teachers, or education support staff). Staff PDPs should link to their activities and milestones, which will ensure a line of sight from school improvement priorities to each individual.

Appropriate links between the SSP, the AIP and all teacher PDPs ensures that each school harnesses the efforts of all of its staff towards the shared goal of school improvement, and that each person understands their role in working towards the priorities.

For more information, please refer to Annual Implementation Planning.

Strategic Planning Online Tool (SPOT) should be used to complete annual implementation planning.


Four days a year for professional practice

Four days a year for professional practice

Each teacher is entitled to 4 professional practice days (1 per term) to focus on the improved delivery of high quality teaching and learning. These days are in addition to the existing student-free days and will release teachers from their scheduled duties, including teaching.

Schools will articulate their priorities in the School Strategic Plan (SSP) and Annual Implementation Plan (AIP).

More information and resources can be accessed from the Professional Practice Days (PDF) flyer and Victorian Government Schools Agreement 2017 (Vic).


Department's Values

Department's Values

All school employees of the Department of Education and Training commit to upholding the Values of:

  • Responsiveness
  • Integrity
  • Impartiality
  • Accountability
  • Respect
  • Leadership, and
  • Human Rights

The Department's Values are consistent with Victorian public sector values. They underpin the behaviour that the community expects of all Victorian public sector staff, including those employed in government schools. All Department employees, including school staff, uphold the Values as part of their employment. Department's Values complement individual school values which apply to the whole school community, including students.  

More information and resources can be accessed at Values — Department and VPS Values for School Employees.


Online Performance and Development Plan

Online Performance and Development Plan

In 2017, the Department implemented the online Performance and Development Plan (PDP) system. The system includes:

  • the functionality to track PDP discussions held through the year
  • a stronger connection to professional standards, school strategic plans and annual implementation plans
  • the ability for an employee to attach documents in the evidence section at any point in the cycle
  • information security to ensure the PDP remains private between the staff member and their reviewer
  • the ability for a staff member to maintain their PDP if they move schools during the cycle

All school staff complete their PDPs using the online system, unless a school has an existing contractual arrangement in place.

The Department will only use performance and development data at the aggregate not at the school level and as such, data contained in an individual employee’s PDP will not be used beyond the school.

Support and resources to assist with the use of the online PDP can be accessed at Online PDP Support and Resources.


A whole-of-practice approach

A whole-of-practice approach

‘Seeking self-knowledge is a prerequisite for and motivation of growth and improvement’ (London, 2003).

The whole-of-practice approach ensures teacher performance and development is framed against the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (the Standards), in the context of the school’s strategic priorities. The Standards inform the development of professional learning goals, provide a framework by which teachers can judge the success of their learning and assist self-reflection and self-assessment. The Standards, and associated resources such as the Classroom Practice Continuum, can be found on the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership's (AITSL) website.

Performance and development planning, goal setting, conversations, and feedback should encompass all elements of a teacher’s practice in the context of their school and their Performance and Development Plan (PDP). It should acknowledge that the totality of a teacher’s work contributes to improvements in student achievement, engagement and wellbeing, and place strong emphasis on the collective responsibility amongst school based staff for the learning of all students.

Teachers will use the Standards and the school’s priorities, as articulated in the School Strategic Plan (SSP) and the Annual Implementation Plan (AIP), to reflect on their practice and inform their PDP. Teachers will set 4 goals, one in each of the Domains of Teaching from the Standards (Professional Knowledge, Professional Practice and Professional Engagement) and a student outcomes goal, taking into account the Domains of Teaching. Each of the goals may reference elements of the others. This approach acknowledges the holistic nature of teachers' practice.

The PDP documentation comprises:

  • 4 performance and development goals
  • strategies that will be used to support the achievement of each goal
  • evidence that will be collected to demonstrate achievement of each goal

The PDP documentation, recorded in eduPay, also functions as a record of the formal review conversations that will be held between teachers and reviewers at mid-cycle and end-cycle points. Supporting these formal discussions, ongoing performance and development conversations across the school staff should continue throughout the cycle.

Figure 1 Whole-of-practice approach for teacher class employees

Student Outcomes wheel, all stages identified — Professional Knowledge, Professional Practice, Professional Engagement

Goal setting

Goal setting

Domains of Teaching

The Domains of Teaching are taken directly from the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (the Standards) which incorporate all aspects of a teacher’s practice, describe the key elements of quality teaching and articulate professional expectations for teachers, as determined by their level of experience. The Standards are divided into 4 career stages — Graduate, Proficient, Highly Accomplished and Lead.

There are 7 Standards, all of which are interrelated. For an outline of the Standards, refer to Figure 2.

Further information on the Standards and Domains of Teaching can be found on the website for Australian Institute of Teaching and School Leaders (AITSL). The AITSL website also contains the Classroom Practice Continuum which articulates what teachers at increasing levels of expertise should be doing in the classroom.

Teachers will set a goal in each of the Domains of Teaching. The following (taken from the Standards) describes the Domains of Teaching.

Professional knowledge

'Teachers draw on a body of professional knowledge and research to respond to the needs of their students within their educational contexts.

Teachers know their students well, including their diverse linguistic, cultural and religious backgrounds. They know how the experiences that students bring to their classroom affect their continued learning. They know how to structure their lessons to meet the physical, social and intellectual development and characteristics of their students.

Teachers know the content of their subjects and curriculum. They know and understand the fundamental concepts, structure and enquiry processes relevant to the programs they teach. Teachers understand what constitutes effective, developmentally appropriate strategies in their learning and teaching programs and use this knowledge to make the content meaningful to students.

Through their teaching practice, teachers develop students' literacy and numeracy within their subject areas. They are also able to use information and communication technology to contextualise and expand their students' modes and breadth of learning'.

Professional practice

'Teachers are able to make learning engaging and valued. They are able to create and maintain safe, inclusive and challenging learning environments and implement fair and equitable behaviour management plans. They use sophisticated communication techniques.

Teachers have a repertoire of effective teaching strategies and use them to implement well-designed teaching programs and lessons. They regularly evaluate all aspects of their teaching practice to ensure they are meeting the learning needs of their students. They interpret and use student assessment data to diagnose barriers to learning and to challenge students to improve their performance.

They operate effectively at all stages of the teaching and learning cycle, including planning for learning and assessment, developing learning programs, teaching, assessing, providing feedback on student learning and reporting to parents or carers'.

Professional engagement

'Teachers model effective learning. They identify their own learning needs and analyse, evaluate and expand their professional learning, both collegially and individually.

Teachers demonstrate respect and professionalism in all their interactions with students, colleagues, parents or carers and the community. They are sensitive to the needs of parents or carers and can communicate effectively with them about their children's learning.

Teachers value opportunities to engage with their school communities within and beyond the classroom to enrich the educational context for students. They understand the links between school, home and community in the social and intellectual development of their students'.

A focus on development to improve student outcomes

‘My role, as a teacher, is to evaluate the effect I have on my students. It is to know thy impact, it is to understand this impact, and it is to act on this knowing and understanding' (Hattie, 2012).

Improving outcomes for students is the core purpose of teachers' work. The performance and development approach is focused on teachers’ development across the Domains of Teaching to enhance their effectiveness in improving students' outcomes — their learning, engagement and wellbeing. The approach includes an explicit student outcome goal that takes into account teachers' development across the Domains of Teaching.

This goal may be related to improvements in student achievement, engagement or wellbeing, either for individuals or for groups of students.

Student achievement may refer to either absolute levels of learning attainment or the growth in learning that schools strive to ensure for each student. On average, all students should achieve at least 1 year’s learning growth in return for a year of schooling. Teachers should intervene early to ensure that all students make sufficient progress in their learning.

Student engagement refers to the extent to which students feel connected to and engaged in their learning, with their peers and with their broader school community.

Student health, safety and wellbeing are essential to learning and development. An inclusive, safe, orderly and stimulating environment for learning is critical to achieving and sustaining all students’ positive learning experiences.

For an annotated version of the PDP template, refer to Figure 3.


The performance and development approach

The performance and development approach

The following section provides a step-by-step guide through each stage of the performance and development cycle

Reviewer

The principal is ultimately responsible for the performance and development process for all staff. However, the principal may delegate the role of reviewer to an appropriate member of their leadership team or another appropriately experienced member of staff (particularly in larger schools). Nominees will make recommendations about staff performance and development to the principal who is responsible for making the final decision in relation to each stage.

Principals may wish to conduct the end-cycle review in a one-on-one setting, or set up a review panel — for example, a small panel made up of leadership team members that make recommendations to the principal about a teacher’s performance and development. If a panel is adopted, it should be assembled at the start of the cycle and panel members should be involved in the staff member’s performance and development process throughout the cycle.

Annual performance cycle

The performance and development cycle will operate on a calendar year cycle while the progression cycle will continue to operate from May to April.

The performance and development plan will cover the school year unless otherwise agreed with the employee.

The key dates and requirements for performance and development each year are as follows:

  • before 1 March — notification requirement (in writing) for teachers who may not achieve a successful performance and development outcome
  • by 30 April — all teachers must be advised of their final performance and development outcome
  • 1 May to 30 April — a teacher with less than 6 months eligible service between this period at a particular salary subdivision will not be eligible for salary progression for that cycle
  • on 1 May — salary progression occurs for eligible teachers who achieve a successful performance and development outcome

Refer to Other information chapter in these Policy and Guidelines.

Reflection and goal setting (start of cycle)

‘If there is a generic principle of practice, it is probably that teaching must be responsive to the specific needs of the students being taught’ (Timperley, 2011).

Reflection and discussion

Teachers will meet with their reviewer at the beginning of each cycle. Teachers should come to the meeting having reflected on the previous year, their teaching practice, student learning and broader student outcomes, as well as areas for development and what they hope to achieve in the coming year.

This initial meeting will be used to discuss and refine the teacher’s draft Performance and Development Plan (PDP) which will incorporate the teacher’s proposed goals, strategies and supporting evidence, as well as discussing clear expectations for performance and development. An agreement between the teacher and reviewer should be reached about what will constitute success at the feedback and review stage. During this meeting, the teacher’s PDP will be finalised and agreed on by the teacher and reviewer. Figure 5 above describes the roles and responsibilities of the teacher and reviewer.

Goal setting

Building on an understanding of the Standards and the school priorities for professional practice, teachers will refine, through discussion with their reviewer, goals in relation to each of the Domains of Teaching and a goal focused on student outcomes, which takes into account the Domains of Teaching. These goals should follow the SMART goal methodology (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound).

Goals should be based on previous reviews (where relevant) be clear and evidence-based, and reflect the teacher's developmental needs. It is important that the reviewer and teacher discuss what the achievement of a goal requires in the context of their school and career stage.

Teachers’ performance and development goals should ultimately be aimed at improving student outcomes through improved teaching practice. They should draw on a range of resources to inform their goal setting including:

  • learning needs of their students
  • the Standards
  • the teacher’s role description and classification
  • the School Strategic Plan (SSP) and Annual Implementation Plan (AIP)
  • evidence and research about effective teaching
  • the school’s agreed approach to teaching and learning

The Department has developed tools and resources to assist with goal setting which can be accessed at Professional Learning and Quality Teaching Practice (login required).

In summary, performance and development goals should be:

  • SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound)
  • evidence-based
  • aligned with school priorities
  • appropriate to the teacher’s classification level
  • ‘stretch goals’ — they should be developmental, and based on areas or skills that are yet to be achieved, rather than those already consolidated
  • agreed between employee and reviewer and regularly reviewed and adjusted if required (by agreement)

Strategies

Teachers should document strategies that will directly support them to achieve their performance and development goals over the course of the cycle. These may include teaching strategies, capacity building, collaboration and, or professional learning.

Evidence

‘Evidence selected should be ‘adequate, authentic, appropriate and accurate' (Griffin, 2008).

Teachers will also need to clearly nominate a range of evidence that will enable them to demonstrate their progress towards and achievement of their performance and development goals. Collecting and reflecting on evidence is critical to effective performance and development processes, by enabling teachers to demonstrate the impact of their practice. Additionally, evidence provides the basis for further development by informing growth and access to high quality professional learning.

A range of evidence is required to produce a meaningful perspective of a teacher’s performance and development throughout the cycle (Timperley, 2008). Evidence selected should be relevant and accessible, and should include the data and information collected as part of a teacher’s everyday practice. Evidence should be an exercise in collation rather than creation. The quality of evidence is critical to ensuring that specific and growth-oriented feedback is provided to teachers to support their ongoing development.

When selecting evidence, teachers should ask themselves the following:

  • How will I know I have achieved my goal and had the desired impact?
  • How could I demonstrate that I have achieved the goal?
  • Who will benefit from me having done this?
  • Can I ask those who benefit from my work for feedback?

In line with the Australian Teacher Performance and Development Framework (2012) teachers may include data showing impact on student outcomes, information based on direct observation of teaching to facilitate inquiry and feedback to improve practice, and evidence of collaboration with colleagues. The Framework also outlines additional sources of evidence that may be agreed to, such as:

  • student feedback
  • peer or supervisor feedback
  • parent feedback
  • teacher self-assessment
  • evidence of participation in professional learning and teacher reflection on its impact
  • evidence of participation in professional learning teams (for example, design of curriculum or moderation of student assessment) and reflection on its impact

As well as drawing from the list above, staff may discuss (as a whole) the types of evidence that would be useful. The Department has developed tools and resources to assist with identifying and collecting appropriate evidence, which can be accessed at Professional Learning and Quality Teaching Practice (login required).

Professional practice and learning (mid-cycle)

‘Feedback has no effect in a vacuum, to be powerful in its effect, there must be a learning context to which feedback is addressed’ (Hattie and Timperley, 2007).

Self-assessment

Teachers should monitor progress against their performance and development goals, focus on achieving their goals and collect evidence of their practice and impact on student achievement, engagement and wellbeing throughout the year in preparation for the mid-cycle and end-cycle discussions.

Professional conversations about practice

A mid-cycle discussion should be scheduled between the teacher and reviewer to discuss progress against agreed performance and development goals. The mid-cycle discussion provides an important and formal opportunity for teachers to receive feedback and, where required, support to enable performance and development goals to be achieved by the end-cycle. However, feedback and support can be provided at any time during the performance and development cycle.

Discussion at this stage of the cycle enables both teachers and reviewers to re-define goals, professional learning and development opportunities, and re-define nominated forms of evidence identified in the PDP. Any changes are to be agreed between the reviewer and the teacher.

The formal mid-cycle review is also an opportunity for concerns about performance to be raised, and expectations for improvement prior to the end-cycle review to be discussed. This may include identifying further opportunities for collaboration, capacity building and, or professional learning. It is important to note that concerns about performance should be raised as soon as they are identified and discussed in the context of how the teacher can work towards meeting their goals. Figure 6 above describes the roles and responsibilities of the teacher and reviewer.

Feedback

Performance and development processes are effective when they provide teachers with meaningful feedback, so they can reflect and improve their practice and obtain support to improve and develop their skills. For feedback to be constructive and effective, it is important that it is actionable, supported by examples, and provides substantial opportunities for improvement.

Both verbal and written feedback should be provided to teachers at the mid-cycle and end-cycle points. The provision of informal feedback is recommended throughout the cycle, from the principal, peers and students. This encourages continual reflection and improvement from all lenses of the learning environment.

Effective feedback must address three major questions (Hattie and Timperley, 2007, Timperley, 2011):

  • Where am I going?
  • How am I going?
  • Where to next?

Teachers should seek feedback from a range of sources (which may include peers, the principal, the leadership team, students, parents and self-reflection) in order to answer these questions.

When providing feedback to teachers, reviewers should support teachers to become self-regulators — evaluators of their own practice and their impact on student learning. Feedback should be aimed at motivating and empowering teachers to identify where their practice could be more effective and to make the necessary adjustments. Equally as important, teachers must enter feedback sessions with an open mind, and be willing and receptive to meaningful and constructive feedback.

Professional learning

‘Through learning we re-create ourselves' (Senge, 1990).

Principals have a responsibility to support performance and development by establishing a high quality professional learning culture, characterised by:

  • a high degree of leadership support for ongoing adult learning and risk-taking
  • collective responsibility for improving practice
  • disciplined collaboration focused on student learning needs
  • high levels of trust, interaction and interdependence
  • support through school structures, explicit planning and the allocation of time
  • coaching and mentoring and teacher-led action research, which are strategies that commonly feature in effective school based staff development

Professional learning should have a demonstrable impact on a staff member’s development, as well as on student achievement, engagement and wellbeing. For professional learning to be effective, it must be relevant, collaborative and future-focused (Australian Charter for the Professional Learning of Teachers and School Leaders, AITSL, 2012). There is strong evidence to suggest that a sustained approach to professional learning has a stronger impact on practice than ad-hoc learning opportunities and that the closer to the classroom those efforts to improve practice occur, the bigger the impact they are likely to have on student learning (Timperley et al, 2011).

Timperley suggests a range of interactive elements should form the basis of a ‘cycle of inquiry’ for teacher professional learning including:

  • grounding learning in the immediate problems of practice
  • deepening relevant pedagogical content and assessment knowledge
  • engaging existing theories of practice on which to base ongoing inquiry processes

In this process, teachers collectively and individually identify key issues for student learning and these become the drivers for acquiring the knowledge they need to address them, monitor the impact of their actions and adjust their practice accordingly.

Feedback and review (end of cycle)

‘Ideally teacher appraisal should give teachers tailored feedback, which should then be followed with opportunities for continuous learning in the areas identified’ (Hill and Herlihy, OECD 2011).

A formal end-cycle performance and development review will be undertaken annually. The review will be based on evidence that the teacher has achieved their performance and development goals and had a positive impact on student learning, through improved practice and professional growth.

Preparation for formal review

Teachers should prepare for the formal end-cycle review by:

  • collating and analysing evidence collected over the course of the performance and development cycle
  • reflecting on their performance and professional growth over the cycle, with reference to their performance and development goals and the Standards, and the impact this has had on their students and school
  • preparing to describe their achievements, how they have grown professionally and areas for further development they have identified for the future (supported by evidence)
  • preparing to have a constructive professional conversation with their reviewer and receive feedback regarding their progress and professional growth in all areas of their practice

Formal review — professional judgement

Performance and development reviews require reviewers to make informed, professional judgements about teacher practice and improvement using multiple sources of evidence and with consideration to the circumstances surrounding a teacher’s professional growth throughout the cycle. Setting clear expectations at the beginning of the cycle plays a significant role in allowing reviewers to make a transparent, evidence-based and personalised assessment of a teacher’s performance and development against their goals, leading to an overall performance and development outcome.

The Standards provide benchmarks for performance at different levels of proficiency for the review. When assessing a teacher’s performance and development, data will not be considered in isolation, and no single piece of evidence will determine the performance and development outcome.

Principals are responsible for determining the overall performance and development outcome for each teacher, and this must be recorded. As well as providing verbal feedback during the end-cycle discussion, reviewers must provide teachers with written feedback. Teachers must be formally advised of the outcome by 30 April. Figure 7 describes the roles and responsibilities of the teacher and reviewer.

Personalised feedback

Feedback (verbal and written) will focus on specific areas for improvement, and will assist teachers in developing appropriate performance and development goals for the next performance cycle. This feedback should be incorporated in the development of the PDP for the following year, including appropriate development actions.

In order to facilitate the formal provision of meaningful, detailed and actionable feedback to teachers, reviewers are required to determine performance and development outcomes at the goal level across 3 levels of achievement, provide feedback explaining each outcome (Figure 8) and provide guidance for further development.

This type of feedback:

  • recognises and celebrates achievement
  • recognises and records professional growth
  • identifies new or renewed areas for focus in the next performance and development cycle
  • identifies strategies and support that can be implemented to support growth in these areas for the future

Reviewers will then exercise their professional judgement to determine a final assessment outcome. Figure 9 provides a description of the final performance and development outcomes that can be received.

In this way the formal feedback and review stage marks the formal close of one performance and development cycle and serves as the foundation for the next cycle by providing teachers with precise feedback on what they have achieved and where they can continue to learn and grow as professionals.


Support and resources

Support and resources

System wide support is essential in building a positive performance and development culture in a school.

Support and resources around the Performance and Development Plan (PDP) system are available through the following Department websites: 

Resources include:

  • information on capacity building workshops for principals
  • PDP templates
  • SMART goal tips
  • PDP writing advice
  • possible sources of evidence lists
  • activity check lists
  • guidance on classroom observation
  • feedback tools and protocols
  • online PDP quick reference guides and instructional videos

The Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) website hosts national guidelines to assist principals and schools with performance and development and professional learning, and offers a range of tools and resources including the application of standards, self-reviews and illustrations of practice.

Further tools and resources to support effective professional learning can be found on the Department’s website.

Refer to the Relevant research chapter of these Guidelines for relevant research.

Refer to the Resources tab for useful links.


Other information

Other information

Salary progression

Consistent with the Victorian Government Schools Agreement 2017 (VGSA 2017) salary progression is not automatic. Salary progression is subject to a successful performance and development review.

In order to achieve salary progression (where eligible), a teacher must demonstrate that they have achieved an overall performance and development outcome of 'meets requirements'.

Salary progression for all eligible teachers will be in the first pay period on or after 1 May of each year based on the outcome of the performance and development review.

The VGSA 2017 states that teachers may be considered for accelerated salary progression within their school. Further information regarding acceleration is available from Remuneration — Teaching Service

A teacher acting in a higher position may progress at the higher level of their pay bracket (in addition to progression at their substantive level if not at the maximum) provided the teacher has 6 months eligible service at the higher position.

Eligible service for salary progression

Consistent with the VGSA 2017, a teacher with less than 6 months eligible service at a particular salary subdivision in any particular progression cycle will not be eligible for salary progression.

Eligible service includes all periods of paid leave and any periods of unpaid leave that have been approved to count as service. Approved teaching experience undertaken during a period of leave without pay will be included as eligible service for salary progression purposes subject to the provision of a statement of service.

A teacher promoted within the 6 month period prior to 1 May is not eligible for salary progression in that year. However where the teacher had been in receipt of higher duties at the higher level within that year’s performance and development cycle, the higher duties period will be included as eligible service.

Non-progression

Consistent with the VGSA 2017 where a teacher is eligible for progression but has not met the requirements for salary progression in that year, the teacher will not receive salary progression for that cycle provided that they have been notified in writing, before 1 March, of:

  • the standards of performance that are expected
  • the areas of the teacher’s performance that do not meet the required standards
  • the consequences of continued or repeated failure to meet these standards

In addition, the teacher must be given the opportunity to improve their performance to reach the required standard.

Where the performance of a teacher commencing a period of extended leave or changing schools is considered to have not met requirements, the principal should provide that teacher with the required notice prior to the commencement of leave or movement to the other school.

If notice is issued on or after 1 March, salary progression in that cycle must be granted. Principals need to enter staff performance outcomes on eduPay. If this is not done, all eligible employees will progress.

Other circumstances

In the case where a teacher works in two or more schools within the performance and development cycle, the base principal is expected to consult with the principal(s) of the other school(s) regarding the teacher’s performance.

Where a teacher changes schools within the performance cycle, the principal at the teacher’s new school is expected to consult with the principal of the teacher’s previous school regarding the teacher’s performance. Both parties will contribute to a performance and development review outcome.

It is recommended that the teacher meets with their principal (or principal’s nominee) to discuss the requirements and expectations of their new or returning role. Teachers and their principal (or principal’s nominee) may wish to update the teacher’s Performance and Development Plan (PDP) goals, strategies and evidence to ensure it remains relevant.

Non-agreement or non-participation

Where the teacher does not participate in the performance and development process (that is, does not have a PDP) or the teacher and reviewer cannot agree on the teacher’s PDP, his or her performance and development will be evaluated against the applicable Standards. This review will be based on consideration of all relevant information in relation to the teacher’s performance and development.

Unsatisfactory performance

The performance and development process is not designed to manage unsatisfactory performance. Where it is considered that a teacher’s performance is unsatisfactory, the unsatisfactory performance procedures (set out in Schedule 4 of the VGSA 2017) should be implemented. A teacher is not eligible for salary progression during any period that he or she is the subject of unsatisfactory performance procedures provided the notification requirements have been met. Refer to Complaints, Misconduct and Unsatisfactory Performance — Teaching Service procedures.

First year teachers

Consistent with the VGSA 2017, first year teachers who commence employment at subdivision 1–1 prior to 1 May in any year will be paid a lump sum on progression to subdivision 1–2 in the following year.

Probation or VIT registration

A teacher participating in the full registration process of the Victorian Institute of Teaching (VIT) and, or undergoing a probationary period is not required to participate in the Department's performance and development process. At the conclusion of the full registration process and, or a probationary period, the performance and development process will commence.

Where a teacher is eligible for salary progression prior to the conclusion of the full registration process and, or a probationary period, his or her performance should be evaluated for the purposes of salary progression. In this case the principal will assess the teacher’s performance and development during the relevant period of employment.

Where any prior employment during the current performance and development cycle was not at the teacher’s current school, the principal should consult with the principal(s) of the other school(s) regarding the teacher’s performance and development.

Where a teacher’s performance and development makes it probable that the full registration process and, or a probationary period will not be completed satisfactorily, the teacher should be provided with notification in accordance with the VGSA 2017 (as above) where this may also result in salary progression not being granted.

Grievances

Teachers may be eligible to lodge a grievance in accordance with the relevant Ministerial Order under the Education and Training Reform Act 2006 in relation to the performance and development review. Information on grievance procedures can be obtained from the Registrar of the Merit Protection Board.


Relevant research

Relevant research

Australian Institute of Teaching and School Leadership, 2012, ‘Australian Charter for the Professional Learning of Teachers and School Leaders’, Melbourne

Australian Institute of Teaching and School Leadership, 2012, ‘Australian Teacher Performance and Development Approach’, Melbourne

Australian Institute of Teaching and School Leadership, 2011, ‘Australian Professional Standard for Teachers’, Melbourne

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, 2011, ‘Learning About Teaching: Initial Findings from the Measures of Effective Teaching Project’, Virginia

Cahill, H. and Freeman, E., 2007, Chapter 7, ‘Creating school environments that promote social and emotional wellbeing’, in Keeffe, M. and Carrington, S. (eds.), Schools and diversity, 2nd ed., Pearson Education Australia. pp. 90–107

Darling-Hammond, L., 2012, ‘Creating a comprehensive system for evaluation and supporting effective teaching’, Stanford, CA: Stanford Centre for Opportunity Policy in Education

Darling-Hammond, L., 2013, ‘Getting Teacher Evaluation Right: What really matters for effectiveness and improvement’, New York: Teachers College Press

Dinham, S., 2012, 'Our Asian schooling infatuation: the problem with PISA envy', The Conversation, 14 September

Dinham, S., Ingvarson, L. and Kleinhenz, E., 2008, ‘Investing in Teacher Quality: Doing What Matters Most’, in Teaching Talent: The Best Teachers for Australia’s Classrooms, Melbourne: Business Council of Australia

Department of Education and Training, 2007, ‘The Developmental Learning Approach for School Leaders’, Victoria

Dufour, R. and Marzano, R., 2011, ‘Leaders of Learning: How District, School, and Classroom Leaders Improve Student Achievement’, Solution Tree Press: Bloomington, USA

Elmore, R., 2007, ‘Education Improvement in Victoria’, Paper commissioned by the Office for Government School Education, Department of Education and Early Childhood Development

Fullan, M., 2016 ,’Indelible Leadership: Always Leave Them Learning’, Corwin Press: London

Godinho, S., 2010, ‘Planning for Practice: connecting pedagogy, assessment and curriculum’ in Churchill, R. et al. (Eds). Teaching, Making a Difference, John Wiley and Sons Australia, pp. 196–235

Griffin, P., 2008, ‘Developmental Models: Writing Quality Criteria for Rubrics’, Assessment Research Centre: The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, unpublished paper

Hargreaves, A. and Fullan, M., 2012, ‘Professional Capital, Transforming Teaching in Every School’, Teachers College Press: Columbia University, New York

Hattie, J. 2003, ‘Teachers make a difference: What is the research evidence?’ Paper presented at ACER Research Conference, pp. 19 -21 October, Melbourne

Hattie, J. 2009, ‘Visible Learning: A synthesis of over 800 Meta-Analyses Relating to Achievement’, Abingdon: Routledge, United Kingdom

Hattie, J. and Timperley, H. 2007, ‘The Power of Feedback’, Review of Educational Research, Vol. 77, No. 1

Hay Group, 2012, ‘Growing our potential: Hay Group’s view on implementing an effective performance improvement and development approach for teachers’

Hord, S. 2008, ‘Evolution of the Professional Learning Community’, Journal of Staff Development; Summer 2008, 3, pages 10 –13

Jensen, B. 2011, ‘Better Teacher Appraisal and Feedback: Improving Performance’

Jensen, B., Sonnemann, J., Roberts-Hull, K., Hunter, A. 2016 ‘Beyond PD: Teacher Professional Learning in High-Performing Systems’, Washington, DC: National Center on Education and the Economy

Leithwood, K., 2012, ‘The Ontario Leadership Approach 2012: with a discussion of the research foundations’

McGaw, B., 2008, ‘The role of the OECD in international comparative studies of achievement’, Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy & Practice, 15(3), pp. 223–243

Moyle, K., 2016, ‘Using data, conversations and observations for school improvement’ Australian Council for Educational Research, Melbourne

Quinn, J. and Fullan, M., 2015, ‘Coherence: The Right Drivers in Action for Schools, Districts, and Systems, Corwin Press: London

Reeves, A.R., 2011, ‘Where great teaching begins: Planning for student thinking and learning, Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development’, Alexandria, VA. pp. 7–14

Timperley, H. 2008, Teacher professional learning and development, Educational Practices Series–18, International Bureau of Education, UNESCO

Timperley, H. 2011, 'Using student assessment for professional learning: focusing on students’ outcomes to identify teachers’ needs', Paper no. 21

Victorian Auditor-General’s Office, 2010, ‘Managing Teacher Performance in Government Schools

Wiggins, G., 2011, ‘The Understanding by Design Guide to Creating High-Quality Units, Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development’, Alexandria, VA. Module B, pp. 13–33


Resources

Resources

A range of support resources are available to support development of school staff PDPs including goal setting guides and sample goals, reflection templates, video case studies and online modules. To access support resources, refer to:

Incorporating Departmental tools in your PDP

All school staff are encouraged to utilise Departmental tools and programs to support their practice. These should be considered when developing your PDP, including:

Professional Practice Leadership resources

For further information about the following resources, please email school.leadership@education.vic.gov.au

Professional development for teachers

Here you will find resources on professional development for teachers including:

  • professional learning catalogue with information on courses, costs and FISO priorities
  • performance and development intranet with guidelines, templates and tools to help teachers through the PDP cycle
  • strategies to improve teachers’ skills in the classroom
  • recently advertised professional development (PD) opportunities and some information on professional learning theory

Professional learning catalogue

Professional Learning Catalogue with information on courses, costs and FISO priorities

Professional development for casual relief teachers

Here you will find information about:

  • professional development opportunities for casual relief teachers, including webinars, face-to-face workshops and comprehensive programs
  • registration, employment requirements and conditions

Professional development for principals and administrators

Here you will resources on professional development for principals and school administrators including:

  • the catalogue of professional learning opportunities for principals run by the Bastow Institute
  • performance and development intranet with guidelines, templates and tools to help staff through the PDP cycle
  • other available programs

Professional learning communities

Here you will find information about the principles behind implementing effective professional learning communities and the resources available to help you do so.

Scholarships for current teachers and graduates

Here you can find information about the current financial assistance available to recent graduates or teachers wanting to upskill.

Professional development institutes

Here you will find find information about professional development institutes for school staff including:

  • the Bastow Institute of Educational Leadership
  • Statewide Vision Resource Centre
  • Victorian Deaf Education Institute
  • Victorian Institute of Teaching
  • VET Development Centre

Communities of practice

Here you will find:

  • information about what a community of practice (CoP) is, how to create one and how they can assist schools to improve student outcomes
  • Professional Practice Note 17 to support you in implementing purposeful collaboration within and across schools

Professional practice elements

The professional practice elements help teachers allocate more time and more support to the continuing task of improving professional practice. Here you will find:

  • information about the 3 professional practice elements
  • the professional practice guide
  • notes for teachers
  • additional resources

Useful links

Teaching staff


Reviewed 19 March 2020