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Quality of teaching is a key measure that Ofsted looks at and is fundamental to school improvement, arguably the greatest of all, whatever stage you are at. It is a vital role of the governing board (GB) to monitor the quality of education and to know what is happening with appraisals. This is particularly relevant at academies as they may not be bound by nationally agreed pay and conditions.

By understanding the difference in standards of teaching, governors are better able to press for improvement and take appropriate strategic decisions in the best interests of pupils.

Appraisals and performance-related pay are designed to improve the quality of teaching. Governors’ better understanding of the effectiveness of these processes will enable them to press for improvement in an informed way.

So how does this happen in practice? What should governors monitor? What information do they need? How do they go about their role? What questions should they be asking about performance management and how it relates to pay structures?

During this unit we will raise awareness of some of the key skills that GBs as a whole should have to help them to carry out this vital role. Some will be discussed in more detail here and others will be the main topic of other sessions in this Outstanding Governance unit.

This is quite a challenging and in-depth subject. There is certainly too much to be covered in 40 minutes, so this unit is intended to highlight the key points and flag up some areas for further training and development.

Aims and outcomes

  • Develop an awareness of the GB’s accountability for the quality of teaching and learning.
  • Understand how you can meet your obligations as governors.
  • Discuss the place of governors’ visits to the school.
  • Explore the GB’s responsibilities for appraisals throughout the school.
  • Develop your confidence in engaging with these critical areas.

Unit content

Unit 5: Teaching and learning (including performance management)