Teacher Capability – What Happens?

The threat of Teacher Capability is a significant one but there exists guidance that means no teacher should suddenly find their employment at risk, in all but the most serious of cases. So what are the stages for capability if it is deemed you are not fulfilling your role?

Informal Capability

Informal Capability is a stage of support where clear expectations for improvement will be outlined. You will also be provided with clarity on how the school will support you in meeting these expectations. This support will be determined by the Headteacher/Principal but it is the best opportunity to share your own ideas on how to be supported best e.g. identifying a specific member of staff who might mentor your progress. The scale of the support will vary but it is crucial that you agree that the provision will allow you to demonstrate improvement within the agreed timeframe. Be vocal during this stage but bare in mind the DfE guidance is focussed on the school making the decisions they deem most suitable.

Formal Capability

Formal Capability kicks in when the agreed informal capability opportunity to improve has expired. This is now a case of make or break and scrutiny will be intensified. By this stage, you should be being supported by your Union Rep and have clarity over what possible outcomes lie ahead. Your Union Rep will have expertise in supporting individuals through teacher capability and understand the legal and ethical responsibilities of you & your employer.

Teacher Capability – Top Questions

I have been told I am being placed on Capability, what is my first step?

Speak to your Union and arrange support. Ask for your pupil data for the current and previous years as well as this data for other subjects in the same Key Stage.

Can my school skip the informal capability process?

The DfE is clear in the recommendation that schools should offer a period of focussed, supported opportunity to improve before instigation formal capability.

Will capability be mentioned on any future reference?

Schools have a legal responsibility to share information regarding capability procedures with new employers. This rule applies to any capability process from the previous 2 years.

Where can I learn more?

If you still require help, the NEU has a great information page on the Teacher Capability process.

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