Evaluation of teachers and school leaders to support attractive and sustainable careers

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‘Evaluation’ is one of the first topics explored in the ET2020 Working Group Schools 2018-20 cycle as one part of the group’s broader work on policies to support the career development of teachers and school leaders within an attractive and sustainable profession.

In December 2018, 20 education experts and representatives of Ministries of Education from across Europe came together in Brussels to share ideas and consider how schools and other stakeholders can carry out evaluation in a meaningful way for the individual.

Evaluation often creates negative feelings of fear for teachers and schools – fear of their ‘performance’ potentially being judged and being accused of falling short. At a time when teacher shortages are a concern and public perceptions of teachers may also be low, these fears urgently need to be addressed.

This new piece of work describes how evaluation, when approached differently, can have a significant (and often overlooked) potential to enhance individuals’ sense of professionalism and help them stay passionate and engaged, as well as leading to new competence development and new roles or responsibilities.

Schools and policymakers alike are encouraged to consider:

  • where evaluation data is created and used;
  • the focus of the evaluation (summative or formative);
  • the full process of evaluation, which also takes into consideration the next steps for a teacher or school head; and
  • how any frame of reference that is used must on one level be able to apply to all but also allow room to take into account the local school context and the personal desires and needs of the individual.

Meaningful evaluation conditions

A summary of the work is currently available for School Education Gateway users to read in PDF.

A full report of the ET2020 Working Group’s work on Teacher and School Leaders’ Careers, with key messages and with examples from across Europe, will be available next year.