What is a teacher support plan?


You may be placed on a teacher support plan but might be unsure of what is involved, how much to be concerned and how it links to capability procedures.

You will want to read your school’s capability and appraisal policy as approaches can differ from school to school. You might also find it useful to read our article on capability procedures which provides an overview of the process.

In this article, we outline what a teacher support plan is, how to clarify where you are in the process and what you can do to access additional support.

What is a teacher support plan?

Teacher support plans can differ in content, name and structure and should ideally be catered for the individual needs of the teacher. They are meant to be a supportive and developmental tool which will assist you in improving your teaching and learning practice.

Most often support plans will include a number of objectives which you will have to meet within a set time frame.

What does a teacher support plan look like?

Bedale High School in North Yorkshire has an example of a personal action plan for teachers. It explains that while it can be used as a template, it is important that individual versions are personalised to the specific requirements of each situation.

It states that it is intended to support rapid improvements in performance. The plan outlines the key issues that need to be addressed, the actions that need to be taken to address the issues and the support mechanisms.

  • Key issue: Lesson planning
  • Behaviours demonstrated: produce lesson plans for each lesson that set out learning outcomes
  • Actions to be taken: demonstrate in planning how appropriate challenge is being provided for higher attaining pupils
  • Additional support/resources required: provision of an in-school mentor
  • Monitoring arrangements for timescale for achievement: headteacher weekly scrutiny and feedback
  • Success criteria: the activities engage the pupils as evidenced through their completion of tasks

What should I do if I have been placed on a teacher support plan?

If you have been placed on a teacher support plan you will want to clarify with your school if it is the beginning of informal or formal capability procedures.

We have produced another article which looks in more detail at what informal capability procedures are. 

It explains that in the Department for Education’s (DfEs) model policy for schools on teacher appraisal and capability, where there are concerns about any aspects of the teacher’s performance the appraiser will meet the teacher formally to:

  • Set clear objectives for required improvement
  • Agree any support (e.g. coaching, mentoring, structured observations), that will be provided to help address those specific concerns
  • Make clear how, and by when, the appraiser will review progress (it may be appropriate to revise objectives, and it will be necessary to allow sufficient time for improvement).
  • Explain the implications and process if no, or insufficient, improvement is made – e.g, impact on pay progression and potential move to formal capability

If you are an Edapt subscriber we recommend contacting us as soon as possible if placed on a teacher support plan.

Especially if you reach the formal stage of the capability process as there is a risk you could potentially be dismissed from your role.

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The information contained within this article is not a complete or final statement of the law.
While Edapt has sought to ensure that the information is accurate and up-to-date, it is not responsible and will not be held liable for any inaccuracies and their consequences, including any loss arising from relying on this information. This article may contain information sourced from public sector bodies and licensed under the Open Government Licence. If you are an Edapt subscriber with an employment-related issue, please contact us and we will be able to refer you to one of our caseworkers.