Staff appraisal and capability: requirements and guidance

Get an overview of the requirements for appraising teachers and support staff, plus tips on how to develop your school's appraisal policy.

Last reviewed on 2 February 2022
School types: All · School phases: All
Ref: 7671
  1. Maintained schools must appraise teachers annually
  2. Appraising support staff is not a statutory requirement
  3. You must have a capability policy 
  4. Tips to shape your approach to staff appraisals
  5. Case study: staff-led approach to appraisals (primary school)

Maintained schools must appraise teachers annually

This is set out in The Education (School Teachers’ Appraisal) (England) Regulations 2012.

The regulations do not apply to:

  • Support staff in maintained schools
  • Academies
  • Free schools
  • Independent schools

If you're in an academy, you're free to determine your own appraisal arrangements. Check your appraisal policy (if you have one) to find out what your arrangements are. 

The regulations, covering maintained schools, state that:

  • Schools must have an annual appraisal process in place for teachers
  • Governing boards and local authorities (LAs) must have a written appraisal policy for teachers (see our model policy here)
  • Teachers’ performance objectives must be linked to improving the education of pupils
  • Teachers must receive a written appraisal report that:
    • Assesses their performance, training and development needs
    • Makes, where relevant, a recommendation on pay progression

However, you should check your school’s appraisal policy to see if this applies to you. The Association of School and College Leaders encourages schools to have mid-year