Te aromihi pouako e puta ai ngā ihu o ngā ākonga Māori

Legal requirements for appraising certified teachers

Guidelines for performance appraisal systems


On 12 December 1996, the Secretary-General of Education issued guidelines for schools for assessing the performance of teachers. The guidelines are summarised in Appraisal principles, Appraisal processes, and Aspects for appraisal.

The guidelines set minimum standards of accountability and quality assurance. At the same time, they are flexible enough for boards of trustees to establish appraisal systems appropriate to their school and community.

Schools are required to integrate appraisal into their planning and organisation for professional development. This includes ensuring that school-wide goals and objectives are linked to the professional goals of individual members of staff.

The primary purpose of these requirements is to provide a positive framework for improving the quality of teaching (and therefore learning) in New Zealand schools.

Ministry of Education, 1996

Appraisal principles

The mandated requirements are underpinned by the set of principles listed below.

Boards of trustees should ensure that policies and procedures for the appraisal of teacher performance are:

  • part of an integrated performance management system operating within the school
  • appropriate to individual teachers, the school, and the wider community
  • developed in a consultative manner with teachers
  • open and transparent
  • focused on professional development orientation
  • timely and helpful to the individual teacher
  • aligned with matters of confidentiality, including the provisions of the Privacy Act and the Official Information Act.
Ministry of Education, 1996

Appraisal processes

Each board of trustees is expected to ensure that their school’s policy is in line with the principles.

This includes formally delegating responsibility for implementing the policy and process of teacher appraisal to a professionally competent person or persons (usually the principal and other school leaders).

Other requirements include ensuring that:

  • the appraisal process for each teacher is aligns with the policy
  • each teacher participates in appraisal at least once every 12 months
  • appraisal includes agreement on written performance objectives
  • teachers are observed as part of appraisal
  • teachers conduct self-appraisal
  • appraisal includes discussion between teachers and their appraisers
  • appraisal reports are prepared in consultation with the teacher.


Aspects for appraisal

Boards of trustees are also expected to ensure that the appraisal process incorporates agreed sets of expectations understood by both the appraiser and the appraisee.

These expectations should be specific to each teacher, taking into account differences in people’s responsibilities, areas of performance, and levels of experience.

The requirements outline, in general terms, the aspects of teachers’ performance that should be appraised:

Key professional responsibilities/performance areas are:

  • teaching responsibilities – such as planning and preparation, teaching techniques, classroom management, classroom environment, curriculum knowledge, and student assessment
  • school-wide responsibilities  – such as contribution to curriculum leadership, school-wide planning, school goals, the effective operation of the school as a whole, pastoral activities and student counselling, and community relationships
  • management responsibilities  – such as planning, decision-making, reporting, professional leadership, and resource management.
Ministry of Education, 1996

Return to top