How do your staff review their practice against the Professional Standards for Teaching and Leadership? Do you have processes in place and are your staff confident using them?
Earlier this year, we ran several workshops on the Professional Standards and at the start of these, we asked heads and school leaders to tell us what they, their SLT and their teaching staff knew of the standards. The predominant answer? Very little or not enough. This is hardly surprising given the upheaval of the Welsh education system over the last 8 years and yet, use of the standards is now expected to be in full effect.
The new Professional Standards provide individuals with an excellent and much-needed opportunity to expand on their professional learning and are a necessity if teachers and leaders are to meet the demands of an ambitious new curriculum.
Here are our top tips for helping your staff to incorporate the standards into their daily practice.
Ensure that you and your SLT are familiar with the standards and understand how they tie in to the professional learning needs of your staff.
Welsh government have released several excellent resources you can refer to, but if you need more support For Schools Education Services will also be running several workshops this autumn term which you can book onto here.
Provide your staff with a tool that helps them understand the strengths and weaknesses of their current practice.
There are 17 standards in total. That’s a lot of information to process and act on. Help your staff sift through them and better understand how they relate to their own practice by providing them with a tool that breaks the standards down into manageable chunks. Our online 360 Review tool provides a place for staff to review their practice against the standards one by one, with a series of prompts that guide them towards making an accurate judgement. New reviews can be created whenever necessary, allowing staff to capture their professional learning journey and see their progress over time. To find out more about the 360 Review module, click here.
Tie the Professional Standards into your Professional Learning and performance management targets.
Once staff have been able to identify which standards they need to work on, linking them to professional learning and performance management targets will bring focus back to the standards throughout the year and ensure that they are being integrated into daily practice.