Study type: 
Group study,
Self study

Tackling Staff Underperformance

Strategies for managing challenging conversations

How to use this course

This course is made up of four units which should be delivered to senior and middle leaders with responsibilities for performance management.

Each unit lasts between 1 and 2 hours, and can be delivered either separately across a number of weeks or together to form a training day.

You can choose from self-study or 'download and deliver' options on the unit pages.

How would you deal with an underperforming member of staff? It’s an uncomfortable issue for many school leaders and it’s tough to know how best to proceed. With the increasingly vigilant Ofsted inspections and PRP, school leaders are under more pressure than ever to ensure that their staff are meeting the expected level of performance.

This course is divided into four units designed to lead you through the challenging process of tackling underperformance. Learning outcomes from this course include:

  • identifying underperforming staff and formulating an action plan
  • how to seek out and enact constructive, positive solutions to underperformance
  • how to handle conflict in a calm and constructive manner
  • how to be empathetic and robust in your emotional responses
  • how to carry out a ‘courageous conversation’ in more difficult circumstances.


This course was authored by Edward Gildea: a highly experienced educational consultant, former headteacher and author of Tackling Underperformance - strategies for managing challenging conversations. Edward brings a wealth of experience to this course, giving you the confidence and skills to cope with adversity and chase down a positive solution.

The self-study version of this course was adapted by author Caroline Collins.

After completing this course, or a unit within it, contact us to receive your certificate of attendance on