There is a clear recognition by schools and the Government of the role that support staff can play in broader improvement objectives. To make the best use of support staff and deliver policy effectively, schools need a manageable and comprehensive system of performance management that assesses, develops and monitors staff.
NAPTA membership includes support and resources that together form the Workforce Development Programme. This is designed to create a simple, sustainable performance management process for all support staff, as follows:
Schools that are new to NAPTA introduce the performance management system by running a more intensively-supported version of the four-stage annual cycle outlined below. This usually takes one term to complete. It uses a set of targeted briefings to prepare and inform key individuals, achieve quick results and embed the NAPTA performance management process.
Each member of support staff self-evaluates using a specially-designed online surveying tool (the Professional Development Review for those with teaching and learning responsibility; the Support Staff Survey for others). This enables schools to obtain detailed evidence of support staff’s current levels of competence and confidence, and enables them to plan for future development. Every member of staff can now also evaluate against key criteria using Staff Profile.
NAPTA provides schools with detailed data from their self-evaluation. This highlights important issues and suggests ways in which the school could respond. Schools are given guidance on how to take stock of the current situation and what immediate action can be taken. They are also shown how to feed this information into strategic planning that responds to school needs and Government policy through performance management, training, on-the-job development and self-evaluation.
NAPTA offers flexible and cost-effective approaches to CPD through its Development Resources. This comprehensive set of materials includes:
- resources to meet individual needs through structured in-school training
- institutional guidance to support effective staff management
- curriculum support resources.
These varied resources enable schools to prepare a programme of CPD to match their particular needs and priorities.
The final stage enables schools to consolidate their progress and establish a sustainable cycle of evaluation, development and review. By establishing a dialogue with staff, schools can:
- provide them with feedback on progress so far
- explore ways to meet school needs by developing individual abilities and interests
- set targets for an ongoing review cycle.