Last reviewed on 27 August 2021
School types: All · School phases: All
Ref: 168

Find out your requirements and get advice on writing performance objectives. Download our checklist to help you write meaningful 'SMART' objectives.

Maintained schools must set objectives 

Teachers' objectives must:

  • Be set as part of the appraisal process (read our guide to appraising teachers for more detail)
  • Contribute to improving the education of pupils at the school and the implementation of any school improvement plans

These requirements are set out in regulation 6 of The Education (School Teachers’ Appraisal) (England) Regulations 2012.

They only apply to teachers, not support staff (but the advice below about SMART objectives will be useful for any role you're setting objectives for). 

Academies and free schools

The regulations above don't apply to you, but you can follow them if you wish (it's considered good practice to do so, as explained in the DfE's model teacher appraisal and capability policy, page 4). 

How to write SMART objectives

Set 3 objectives. Unions advise no more than 3 (see the section below) and our associate experts agree – it's best to focus on a few well-considered, targeted objectives.