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Excessive classroom observation is one of the biggest sources of stress and does not of itself lead to better practice.

Observations are part of the appraisal process and, when carried out as part of a process of constructive engagement within an atmosphere of support and co-operation, can be beneficial.

However, excessive numbers of observations can be counter-productive and do not necessarily lead to better outcomes for pupils. There are other ways of supporting staff development, for example through a school’s CPD programme.

There is no statutory limit on the number of teacher observations but NEU policy is for a maximum of three per year for all purposes, not exceeding three hours in total. An annual limit of three hours’ lesson observation was previously included in the Education (School Teacher Performance Management) (England) Regulations 2006; however this legislation was repealed by the Coalition Government in 2012.

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Teachers on induction

What to expect from classroom observations as a teacher on induction, including feedback, professional reviews and formal assessment meetings.

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Support staff

It is important that a support staff member understands the reasons for any observation and what elements will be observed and commented on.

Classroom observation model policy

The aim of this model policy on classroom observation is to provide a framework that schools can adopt to ensure it is developmental and supportive.

Related information

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Performance management

The NEU has produced a guidance, including model policies and checklists, to help you with performance management in your workplace, including appraisals and capability.

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Your rights at work

NEU members have access to a wealth of expertise advice which addresses common employment workplace issues.

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