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The visibility and invisibility of performance management in schools

The visibility and invisibility of performance management in schools

Page, Damien (2015) The visibility and invisibility of performance management in schools. British Educational Research Journal, 41 (6). pp. 1031-1049. ISSN 0141-1926 (Print), 1469-3518 (Online) (doi:

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This article presents findings from a study of performance management in 10 schools, five primary and five secondary. The aim was to gain a snapshot of how headteachers are interpreting and implementing the reforms to the performance and capability procedures for teachers introduced in September 2013. The findings suggest that the evaluation of teachers is conducted within a context of normalised visibility with evidence of competence collected via observations, learning walks, electronic data, organisational and architectural structures. However, this normalised visibility is contrasted with the normalised invisibility of the actual processes of judgement such as appraisal. Invisibility also frames the management of incompetence, with poorly performing teachers routinely offered ‘compromise agreements’ to avoid the official capability procedures. The article concludes by highlighting the limits of the panoptic metaphor in a consideration of teacher evaluation and discusses an alternative metaphor, that of glass, with which to view the performance management of teachers.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the peer reviewed version of above fully cited article and may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving. Official journal of the British Educational Research Association (BERA).
Uncontrolled Keywords: performance management in schools, lesson observations, learning walks, open plan learning, teacher discipline, teacher incompetence, teacher surveillance
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2016 09:32

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