School Policies

written by the staff of Marston Middle School Oxford

Behaviour in School
March 1996

Equal Opportunities
July 1990

Gifted Pupils
January 1994

Special Needs
June 1993

Staff Development
September 1990


Staff Development Policy
September 1990

copyright free
This policy was developed by the staff of Marston Middle School Oxford. You are welcome to download it and print it for your own personal use, or for use in a school or other educational establishment, but if you do so it would be appreciated if you would acknowledge its source.



1 Aims

The staff development policy for this school concerns the professional development, continued training. guidance and support of teachers. It aims to enhance the personal and professional resources of the teacher and at the same time to increase the school's capacity for successful working.

The policy is based on

  • the identification and evaluation of the school's overall objectives which serve as a guide to its activities; and, in relation to these,
  • the developmental needs of the individual teacher, the department (year or subject) and the whole school.
The enhancement and updating of skills and enrichment of personal satisfaction must, ultimately, improve the educational provision for pupils in this school. The processes involved in this policy have been practised for many years but mostly on an informal basis. It is desirable for all concerned to have these processes made more open.

Good personnel management practice indicates that individuals, in order to achieve high performance and satisfaction from their work, need

  • to know what is expected from them;
  • strong professional support amd encouragement for their successes honest but constructive analysis of weaknesses; and
  • the provision of opportunities for future improvement and, when appropriate and possible, promotion.
It is to help achieve these aims that this policy is designed.

2 Responsibility

In this school the role of professional tutor is taken by the deputy head in consultation with the head teacher and with assistance from year coordinators. This role is described in section 3.1.

3 Elements of the policy

The policy covers:

3.1 The professional tutor
3.2 Student teachers
3.3 Induction
3.4 INSET
3.5 Personal files

3.1 The professional tutor

The professional tutor is responsible for the implementation, coordination, organisation and evaluation of the school's staff development policy which covers students on teaching practice, probationary teachers and experienced staff. The role includes the collation and dissemination of INSET information, correspondence with outside agencies (colleges, LEA advisers etc), counselling and guidance, placement on courses, arranging visits to other schools to observe good practice, opportunities for further training etc.

The head teacher is, of course, ultimately responsible for the working of the policy as a whole, for staff selection and promotion (in consultation with governors), counselling, guidance and mutual review.

The deputy head's role involves

  • liaison with colleges in connection with the offering of places to students in this school and in familiarising him/herself with the initial training programme;
  • placing of students in year groups;
  • overseeing the work of students;
  • discussing the performance of students with class teachers, year coordinators, advisers, and college tutors;
  • assisting the class teacher/year coordinator in the formulation of reports on students' work;
  • overseeing the induction of new staff;
  • the collation and dissemination of information and guidance relating to INSET;
  • guidance and counselling for colleagues;
  • arranging for experienced staff to share their expertise.
The year coordinator's role involves
  • counselling and guidance of class teachers on an informal basis;
  • assisting class teachers in working with students;
  • discussing students'/probationary teachers' performance with the Deputy Head/college tutors and writing reports as required.
3.2 School/training institutions partnership

This school is seeking to develop mutually beneficial partnerships with local training institutions (Oxford Brookes University, Westminster College and the University Department of Educational Studies). Such partnerships offer

  • students the opportunity to benefit from the fund of expertise available within the school and to gain practical experience;
  • the training institutions to be in touch with current school practice and the opportunity to trial new approaches and resources in the classroom; and
  • the school to take advantage of the fresh outlook and new ideas which students bring with them and the opportunity to enhance the process of overall school development.
This concept of partnership underpins our intention to adopt a more proactive role in relation to the placement of students in the school. Our aim is that such placements should provide opportunities for advancing the implementation of the school's development plan.

This school therefore welcomes students in appropriate numbers and especially when extended periods of teaching practice are possible.

The responsibilities involved in having students in the school are outlined in section 3.1 above.

3.3 Induction

The aims of the school's induction policy are

  • to assist the newly appointed teacher in settling into the life of the school; and
  • to facilitate the development of his/her professional skills.
The school recognises the importance of the LEA's contribution to the induction process and will do all it can to integrate its own programme with that of the LEA. In particular, arrangements will be made to enable probationary teachers to attend appropriate LEA courses and meetings.

The school believes that all newly appointed staff (not just probationers) have special needs and that those involved in professional tutoring have a special responsibility to ease the newcomer into the life of the school as smoothly as possible. though parts of it will obviously apply mainly to probationers and some of it only to probationers.

3.3.1 The Induction Process

i) Before taking up post:
The school offers newly appointed teachers the opportunity to visit the school before they commence work to discuss their job (and, where appropriate, to update their job description) with the head, deputy, year coordinator and subject area leaders as appropriate, andto be given a copy of the Staff Handbook and their own timetable

Where funds allow, the school welcomes the idea of employing a probationary teacher for a short period in the term before s/he commences permanent employment.

Newly appointed staff are invited to attend any pre-term staff meetings which may be held.

ii) During the first year:
Newly appointed staff have half-termly meetings with the professional tutor and their year co-ordinator to review their progress. An induction programme for the individual teacher is produced which includes LEA-organised events where appropriate. This programme includes the following opportunities (some apply mainly to probationers):

  • to be able to seek help and guidance from senior colleagues, especially their year co-ordinator. This should not be confined to strictly professional matters: staff moving into the area may be grateful for general advice about housing and amenities etc.
  • to be able to observe the work of experienced colleagues;
  • to be able to work alongside experienced colleagues;
  • to visit other appropriate schools for clearly defined purposes (e.g. to study curriculum development, classroom organisation, display etc);
  • to have some of their own work observed by experienced colleagues and LEA inspectors and to receive advice as a result;
  • to meet with other probationary teachers; and
  • to attend induction meetings organised by the LEA.
The professional tutor, with the help of the year coordinator, is responsible for writing reports on the work of probationary teachers for the governors and LEA at the end of each term during the probationary year. The probationary teacher will see and sign a copy of the report before it is submitted and may, if s/he wishes, discuss it with the head teacher.

3.4 INSET

The professional tutor is primarily responsible (in consultation with the head teacher) for INSET planning and administration. This implies the following duties;

  • identifying needs (both institutional and individual);
  • collating and disseminating information on national and LEA courses, professional meetings etc;
  • liaising with the local advisory service;
  • counselling and advising staff on INSET possibilities;
  • facilitating staff participation (timetabling, supply cover etc);
  • reporting to the Head on staff needs, INSET provision and take-up and evaluation.
The school firmly believes in the value of school-focused INSET which has been defined by HMCI Pauline Perry as 'all the strategies employed by trainers and teachers in partnership, to direct training programmes in such a way as to meet the identified needs of a school and to raise standards of teaching and learning in the classroom.'

School-focused INSET is based on these assumptions:

  • that this school is capable of on-going self-evaluation;
  • that it is capable of putting forward development plans;
  • that it is capable of translating these into a viable INSET programme;
  • that INSET does not mean only traditional-type courses; and
  • that this style of working deals with the needs of this school, specific teachers and pupils.
INSET must address:
  • the needs of the school as a whole;
  • the needs of a functional group (year group or curriculum area);
  • the needs of the individual teacher both professional (required for the present job e.g. teaching reading skills) and career (to fulfill career aspirations e.g. management training).
A variety of approaches is therefore necessary and it is the responsibility of senior staff to determine what is appropriate in relation to perceived needs and agreed objectives:
  • observing a senior colleague;
  • working alongside a senior colleague;
  • an invitation to an LEA adviser to visit the school to assist an individual teacher/group of teachers/whole staff;
  • an invitation to staff of other schools to share their expertise with us;
  • visits to other schools; and
  • in-school courses.
3.5 Personal files

A personal file is maintained for each member of staff. The contents of the file are confidential and open only to the head (and, where appropriate, the deputy head), the chair of governors and the member of staff whose file it is.

In the file are kept:

  • copies of forms and documents relating to the teacher's application for his/her post in the school
  • copies of references in connection with applications for other posts;
  • details of INSET undertaken;
  • agreed appraisal statements;
  • a copy of the current job description; and
  • any other appropriate documents.