Human resources

Performance and Development for Education Support Class Employees

Stage 1: Reflection and goal setting

Reflect on practice

When meeting with the reviewer at the beginning of the cycle, education support employees should come to the meeting having reflected on the previous year, including their strengths and areas for development, and what they hope to achieve in the coming year.

At the initial meeting the employee’s draft Performance and Development Plan (PDP), including the proposed goals, strategies and supporting evidence, will be discussed and refined, and clear expectations set for performance and development.

It is important that the education support employee and the reviewer both have a sound understanding of the employee’s position description and employment level and range requirements.

An agreement between the education support employee and reviewer should be reached about what will constitute success at the feedback and review stage. At the conclusion of this meeting, the PDP will be finalised and agreed on by the employee and reviewer.

Goal setting

Goal setting enables employees to focus on what they want to achieve, how they will go about it and what they need to support them. It ensures employees understand and agree to what is expected of them over the course of the performance and development cycle, and that they have input into decisions about how their performance and development will be appraised.

Goals should support employee growth and should be job-embedded, based on the projects, processes or strategies relevant to the employee’s role. Building on an understanding of their own role, education support employees should develop goals linked to the employee developmental needs and the school’s overarching priorities in discussion with their reviewer.

It is important that education support employees and the reviewer discuss what the achievement of a goal requires in the context of their role, and the employee’s stage of career. ‘Stretch goals’ should be developmental, based on areas or skills that are yet to be achieved (within the employee’s applicable dimensions of work), rather than those already consolidated.

When selecting goals, education support employees should consider:

  • relevant school and student data
  • the school’s School Strategic Plan and Annual Implementation Plan (or region or area-level plan)
  • the Domains of Education Support Practice
  • role description, classification level and range
  • any relevant industry standards
  • evidence and research about effective practice relevant to the employee’s role

Goals should follow the SMART goal methodology (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-Bound) and be evidence-based.

For school business managers, example SMART goals are provided against the School Business Manager Capability Framework. Refer to:

School Business Manager Capability Framework with sample SMART goals

Goal setting provides an opportunity for all education support employees to think about relevant development they can undertake to build on their knowledge and skills and enhance the contribution they make to the broader school community.

Identify strategies and evidence

Education support employees must document short-term strategies that will directly support them to achieve their performance and development goals over the course of the cycle. These may include capacity building, collaboration or professional learning.

Employees must also nominate appropriate evidence that will be used to demonstrate the achievement of their goals. Agreement between the employee and the reviewer should be reached about what will constitute success (and the evidence used to demonstrate this) at the end-cycle.

The evidence selected should be realistic and accessible, collected as part of everyday practice and should not be ‘extra’. Quality evidence should be selected that demonstrates progress toward the employee’s goals and the impact of their actions, not simply that they have acted.

Evidence of outcomes must be provided for each goal. When selecting evidence, employees should ask themselves:

  • 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?

Multiple sources of evidence can be used to demonstrate achievement of goals. In evaluating their performance and development, employees could consider any or all of the following evidence:

  • self-reflection: what did I do? how did it go? what could I do differently or better?
  • feedback from students, peers, supervisors or parents
  • participation and outcomes of team-based professional learning
  • participation and outcomes of collaborative planning activities, with other education support employees, teachers and school leaders
  • workplace artefacts (documents, emails, photos, etc) and assessments against relevant standards, processes or key performance indicators.

Goal agreement

Education support staff employees will discuss and agree on their performance and development goals with their reviewer. Goals can be regularly reviewed and adjusted, as required.

Following goal agreement, employees must then enter their goals, strategies and agreed sources of evidence in the PDP section of eduPay. Reviewers must then review, provide feedback and endorse the PDP on eduPay by 30 April.

Guidance chapter on Stage 1: Reflection and goal setting

Reviewed 15 October 2021

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