The Thinking Schools Academy Trust has transformed their performance process using frequent teacher feedback to focus on 'improving' rather than 'proving'. Weekly10 has enabled the teaching staff to take charge of their own development and empowered leaders to support them.
Our big challenge around teacher feedback
Making sure performance conversations lead to action has been a challenge. As has standardising how we manage performance processes across all our academies.
Much of our performance management had become a time-heavy, box-ticking exercise. We set targets at the start of the year and then largely forgot about them. Then there would be a mad dash to collect evidence to support your achievements a few weeks before your meeting.
Dan Pink and Green Cargo were my inspiration. They talk about improving, not proving. We wanted a performance framework that encourages professional development without being time or process-heavy.
I knew I wanted something that enabled our people to take charge of their own development. And a way to empower our leaders to support them. I read about Weekly10 in the Microsoft Teams app store and it struck me how good a match it sounded. Especially the frequent feedback approach.
We run fortnightly check-ins using Weekly10 in Microsoft Teams. These feed into regular objective reviews between staff and their reviewer. This means people have light-weight but regular conversations around performance. We capture, review, and amend successes and actions in a timely manner.
We’ve just started running lesson observations through Weekly10 too, and these feed directly into our check-ins.
Weekly10 has allowed us to launch our new professional growth model both seamlessly and effectively. It’s really changed the way we’re able to support all of our people.Gwynn Bassan, Director of Education
Results of using more frequent teacher feedback
Weekly10 has helped us launch our new professional growth model seamlessly.
The check-ins prompt our people and their managers to have regular conversations about performance. That continuous, incremental approach completely supports our beliefs around changing habits to create transformational change, especially around teacher feedback. We’re always moving in the right direction as a team because objectives are recorded and reviewed often.
A surprising big win for me is the employee recognition element. Everybody shares little nuggets about the great work others are doing in our schools. Things that may have gone unnoticed. But by saying well done or thanks, they give a real boost. I even got recognised this morning!
Finally, the check-in also helps us from a wellbeing perspective. Our people have a process and space to raise any concerns they need to, instead of waiting for their manager to be available.