Boards need targeted guidance and support to understand how to meet their responsibility for appraising the principal in a way that strengthens progress towards the strategic goals. The following recommendations recognise that NZSTA now has responsibility for board professional development.
ERO recommends that the New Zealand School Trustees Association:
- Use opportunities provided through newsletters and training to regularly remind boards of their responsibility for principals’ appraisal, and the guidelines available to support them.
- Review the advice they provide about principals’ appraisal, to ensure it includes guidance on using appraisal to strengthen progress towards the school’s strategic goals. Guidelines should include:
- how to link appraisal goals to the school’s strategic goals and targets
- examples of specific, challenging goals linked to raising student achievement and to use of student achievement information as an indicator to measure progress or achievement
- how boards can work effectively with an external appraiser
- what should be reported to the board to ensure they meet their responsibility for appraisal and monitor progress towards the strategic goals.
- Ensure the latest resources can be easily identified, and accessed through the NZSTA website, with links from the Ministry of Education’s and the New Zealand Teachers Council websites.
ERO recommends that the Ministry of Education:
- Ensures Ministry documentation and PLD (such as information for new trustees and leadership PLD) includes information about the importance of effective principals’ appraisal.
ERO recommends that boards of trustees:
- Strengthen links between principal appraisal goals and the school’s strategic priorities
- Carefully develop goals, especially around improving teaching and learning, that are challenging and specific
- Use student achievement information as an indicator and evidence of goal achievement or progress
- Identify appropriate PLD for the principal, to support progress towards the school’s goals and the principal’s appraisal goals
- Develop processes for ongoing reporting of progress towards both the principal’s goals and the school’s strategic goals
- Clarify what should be reported to the board about the principal’s appraisal and how discussion of the appraisal will contribute to next steps for the school and the principal.
- Ensure the final appraisal report identifies clearly which principal and school goals have been achieved, which have not, and the next steps
- Use ERO’s evaluation questions and indicators and board chair survey to review their principal appraisal practices and outcomes (see Appendix 1 and 2).