ATPR: reviewing the review

The Annual Teacher Performance Review (ATPR) system has itself come under review, with a new report recommending that its implementation be strengthened.

The Queensland Audit Office (QAO), which visited 10 schools during the review of the effectiveness of the process and consulted with the QTU and and the Department of Education and Training (DET), tabled a report in the Queensland Parliament on 27 April.  The report does not recommend a change to the process, but does suggest that its implementation in schools be strengthened.

It makes six recommendations. In brief, they are to:

  • improve the self-reflection and goal setting phase 
  • fix the template, which remains difficult to use 
  • provide more resources to support teachers in setting measurable goals and identifying appropriate evidence
  • consider defining and communicating the meaning of unsatisfactory performance 
  • formally evaluate the effectiveness of the process 
  • assess the scale of time constraint issues.

None of the matters raised are a surprise to the QTU, as we have advocated for these things to happen a number of times. However, it is important to note that the QTU advised the QAO that recommendation 4 relates to the managing unsatisfactory performance process (MUP), not the ATPR process, and that these processes are separate from each other, a separation that was put in place deliberately.

DET has advised that it accepts all six recommendations and will work with stakeholders to address them. 

The Union also advised the QAO that the QTU is the only organisation that provides professional development around these issues (including MUP) and that the spectrum of performance review is broader than just the ATPR, i.e. a number of joint statements such as those on collegial engagement and the purpose and use of data in Queensland schools also support performance development.

The QAO report does not identify a problem with the current process and makes no recommendation to change it. Essentially, the problems exist due to the implementation of the process in the workplace.

Kate Ruttiman                                                                                                                   Deputy General Secretary (Member Services)

Queensland Teachers' Journal, Vol 122 No 4, 2 June 2017, p16