Supporting Support Staff with SchooliP

Schools are putting greater emphasis on teacher development alongside performance, however, it is equally important that schools develop all the staff.

Rebecca Howitt Rebecca Howitt
January 2022

Schools are putting greater emphasis on teacher development alongside performance, however, it is equally important that schools develop all the staff, such as Teaching Assistants, Site Managers, Catering Staff, Business Managers etc. The support staff need clarity of what is expected in their role and how they contribute to the success of any school. Sometimes it is only assumed that staff are clear of what is expected and as roles and responsibilities evolve over time the expectations have a tendency to become blurred if they are not regularly revisited. It is our mission at SchooliP that not a single member of staff is left behind!

Buy-in from staff is an essential element to school success and in order to gain buy-in from all staff, all members of staff need to be offered the same opportunities. That includes the same opportunity to improve and develop themselves in a well-structured and supportive manner. To achieve this, the solution must be extremely flexible as teachers and support staff have different appraisal structures often taking place at different times of the year. SchooliP is a heralded solution that supports 1000s of support staff across the world.  Find out how below.

Objectives

Teachers have a defined set of objectives relating to their role and support staff are no different. These objectives are likely to be very different for support staff than teaching staff. SchooliP supports tailoring objectives for different roles in school including a range of support staff, for example:-

Teaching Assistants

  • Support the class teacher by aiding the learning and progress of a group of pupils, in order to maximise pupil progress.
  • Ensure students' education provision creates opportunities for them to make outstanding progress and achievement in their learning.
  • Improve the planning, quality and impact of teaching year 10 Maths nurture group
  • Ensure that intervention delivered is relevant, meaningful and shows a clear impact on progress for the student in their area of need.

Business Manager

  • Ensure that the school estate remains safe and compliant in one with all statutory and mandatory regulations.
  • Ensure that all training requirements are met to ensure delegated responsibility for Health and Safety and other aspects of the role can be undertaken safely

Data and Exams Manager

  • To help enable highly effective KS3 & KS4 assessment within the curriculum by being efficient with data collection points and their respective analysis. The data collection will enable clear and concise data which is fit for the purpose of enabling intervention and therefore increasing progress for all stakeholders in the school.
  • Facilitate the smooth running of Examinations within the academic year including training of the Invigilation team and logistics of multiple exam seasons both internal and external.
  • Maintenance and continual update of the academic timetable for current academic year groups' classes and the smooth integration of students from other establishments.
  • Keep up to date with relevant training from Examination boards and related organisations (FFT, Schools ICT & Exam Boards).

Finance

  • Compliant with Finance manual and Academy Handbook
  • Ensure that you accurately map purchase orders and invoices to the correct department and nominal code
  • Ensure that financial tasks assigned to you are completed in a timely manner
  • To ensure that any tasks relating to finance are checked thoroughly to avoid any unnecessary errors.

Standards/Competencies

In most schools, support staff are aware of the standards that are associated with their particular role.  However, SchooliP goes one step further and allows staff to rate themselves against each standard, and then compares this with a rating from their line manager. Standards/competencies can be imported from a default bank in SchooliP such as:-

  • Finance
  • Procurement
  • Human Resources
  • Marketing

Schools can also define their own set of standards/competencies that relate specifically to their school or a particular job role.

CPD

Developing colleagues, including support staff, has increasingly come to the forefront as a key element of improving education in schools and colleges. Effective CPD for support staff has been shown to increase motivation, confidence, and commitment. Support staff, as with most other staff, appreciate a ‘learning culture’ where everyone openly talks about what they are learning and improving, how it applies to improving outcomes, and where everyone feels genuinely free to take risks and ask for support. SchooliP provides several tools to make the requesting, recording, and data analysis of professional learning slick and easy to manage:-

  • CPD Requesting and recording by the individual and their line manager
  • Areas for Development - a place to record self-reflective development needs

Interim Reviews

It is important that, during the year, staff members are given the opportunity to discuss their performance against expectations on both a formal and on an ad-hoc basis - and not just at the end of the period at their annual performance review. These conversations are noted in the interim review section and a ‘snapshot’ of the data is taken at that point in time.  

Conclusion

The whole team needs to be made aware that everyone has a part to play within an organisation, irrespective of their role. It is therefore important that careful consideration is given to the expectations of a role, its responsibilities and the experience. The same performance for all leaders, teachers and support staff would not turn the cogs of a well-oiled machine.  Setting out clear expectations empowers and unites staff, allowing them the freedom to act more autonomously with the common goal of driving up standards and improving the outcomes for our children and young people. 

How do support staff leaders analyse how well their teams are progressing? 

SchooliP collates a large amount of data from across all staff objectives, CPD, Areas for Development and standards/competencies to produce meaningful reports that can be analysed by Line Managers, Senior Leaders, Executive Headteachers, Trust Heads, School Improvement Consultants, Inspection Teams and Local Authorities etc. These reports provide an invaluable resource that highlights good practices and areas for development.

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