HC Deb 10 December 1990 vol 182 cc293-4W
Mr. Pawsey

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will state the outcome of the recent consultations on school teacher appraisal.

Mr. Kenneth Clarke

[pursuant to his reply, 7 December 1990, c. 213]: I am grateful for the full and considered responses to the consultation which my predecessor launched in September.

Most respondents wanted appraisal to be a duty on employers—and a duty and an entitlement for teachers. I agree. Appraisal will enhance the professional skills of teachers, and hence the education of their pupils. It should become part of the everyday working life of teachers, as in other occupations. Appraisal will assist teachers to realise their potential and carry out their duties more effectively. It affords parents an assurance of the quality of the teaching which their children will receive.

Accordingly my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Wales and I intend to introduce regulations to require local education authorities and the governors of grant-maintained schools to arrange for the regular appraisal of all teachers whom they employ. We shall need to bring that requirement in gradually because the teacher force in England and Wales is 440,000 strong. But my target is that every teacher now in service should have had his first appraisal by the end of the 1994–95 school year.

The recommendations of the national steering group on the aims of appraisal and on the broad components of the appraisal process command wide support. The regulations and the circular which will accompany them will build on that foundation. Appraisal will take place on a regular two-year cycle. At its heart will lie an observation by a senior colleague of the teacher's work in the classroom. This will be followed by an interview in which the appraiser will discuss the appraisee's professional development with him, and set targets for future action.

I envisage that the regulations will enable the chairman of the school governors to see on request the targets set for teachers at the school. Disciplinary procedures will remain separate but may draw on appraisal records. In advising governing bodies on the exercise of their responsibilities for remuneration head teachers will be able to draw on relevant information from appraisal, along with other factors.

I consider that the national steering group substantially overestimated the cost of introducing appraisal. I shall support expenditure of £10 million on appraisal in 1991–92, and of at least £10 million in 1992–93. Final decisions about 1992–93 and later years will be taken in due time.

My Department has today invited the Interim Advisory Committee on School Teachers' Pay and Conditions to consider an amendment to teachers' conditions of service which would oblige teachers to participate in appraisal with a framework prescribed by the regulations. I shall, as required by section 49 of the Education (No. 2) Act 1986, consult again before making the regulations.

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