TUESDAY : 20 JUNE 2006


For more than two decades teachers in South Africa, especially in black schools, were not subjected to any kind of evaluation. It is very possible that this situation has contributory towards the unsatisfactory results we see in learner achievement. The classroom teacher is the central in the process of educating children and therefore a performance-based teacher evaluation system is critical to improving teaching and learning. The requirements of public education have changed substantially in the last ten years and schools as well as education mangers at all levels of the system are required to respond to the heightened expectations of parents and society. The response from the education system has to be direct and convincing in order address for quality education and opportunity to all.  Schools are expected to teach all children, regardless of the level of skills or personal circumstances they present, to a high level of academic achievement for this new age.  In order to succeed in this most important endeavour, schools must improve the quality of teaching and learning. Everyone from classroom teachers to departmental officials must make the learning of every learner the priority driving all other professional responsibilities. The question then arises as to how we support and cultivate effective teachers for all our schools and all our children? It is our belief that teachers want and need feedback, not only on the act of teaching, but also on the results of teaching. School management teams must focus the collective efforts of all school personnel on our primary goal of improved student learning – hence the birth of the IQMS. The performance of educators is the foundation for achieving the goal of increased learner achievement. Evaluation of programmes and practices is essential to any ongoing effort to improve any profession. Evaluation is not apart from but is a part of the educational process.

The IQMS provides information and feedback to teachers regarding effective practice and offers a pathway for individual professional growth. It allows a mechanism to nurture professional growth toward common goals and supports a learning community in which teachers are encouraged to improve and share insights in the profession. To have developed a comprehensive system such as the IQMS which is administered to almost 360 000 educators is indeed an achievement. To perfect such a comprehensive system would take almost 6 to 8 years.


The process of development appraisal commenced in the early nineties and after years of research of best practices and consultations with the relevant stakeholders the process was finalized in 2001. However there was a need to integrate teacher development appraisal, the teacher appraisal in terms of the Whole School policy and Personnel Performance management system.  On 27 August 2003, Collective Agreement 8 in respect of the IQMS, was signed in the Education Labour Relations Council. The Collective Agreement establishes performance appraisal standards and processes for institutions to use in the evaluation of teachers throughout the country. The IQMS is informed by Schedule 1 of the Employment of Educators Act, No. 76 of 1998 where the Minister is required to determine performance standards for educators in terms of which their performance is to be evaluated.

The IQMS signals a new approach to performance evaluation in the South African education system. From an education perspective the past evaluation systems were seen as negatively focused, backward looking, judgmental, subjective, unreliable and to have a top-down orientation. The new approach, therefore, presents an opportunity for the department to turn these negatives into positives and begin to build a quality education system. The IQMS is more than a policy. It is actually a framework for educational change. In short, it is a philosophy of advocating, reflecting and re-thinking on the best ways of providing quality services.

The performance improvement function relates to the personal growth dimension and involves helping teachers learn about, reflect on, and improve their practice. The improvement function generally is considered formative in nature and suggests the need for continuous professional growth and development. The accountability function, on the other hand, reflects a commitment to the important professional goals of competence and quality performance. Accountability is typically viewed as summative and relates to judging the effectiveness of educational services.


A National Training Team (NTT) was established which consisted of both employer and employee parties at national level. The NTT went from province to province training Provincial Training Teams (PTT). The PTT also consisted of both employer and employee parties from the provinces. The PTT was tasked with the responsibility of training 3 educators from each school. These three educators after having been trained would train all educators at school level. The implementation of the system only commenced in 2004 for payment to be made on 01 July 2005.


The challenges and successes of the system varies from province to province. There are those provinces, which started the process late, such as Limpopo and the Eastern Cape. These two provinces were seriously hampered on account of the lack of capacity and the number of teachers that needed to be trained. There are other provinces, which progressed at a slow pace due to staff shortages and also the number of teachers that were required to be trained. Free State was the only province that was on track in terms of time frames. Critical to the success of the IQMS in the provinces are: :
departmental support and commitment;
resources made available by the department;
strong co-ordination, leadership and planning of the process;
a working support team representative of the different stakeholders;
training of the participants, evaluators and moderators and a clear understanding of the process and procedures..


Strategies are in place to provide training on the art of evaluation to Level 1 educators who are inexperienced with regards to assessing educators.

Provinces are guiding and assisting schools with regard to planning and preparation for the evaluation exercise as the exercise is extremely time consuming.
 Educators at small rural schools are to be given personal attention by the IQMS coordinators at provincial level.
Workshops are being planned for all provinces with regard to moderation, as it was neglected up to this stage. A comprehensive strategy and tool has been designed to assist in this process.
The IQMS coordinators are planning workshops for those schools based development support groups (DSG) members who do not necessarily have the skills to give meaningful developmental feedback to their colleagues.


The DoE has organized regular meetings with the provinces and constantly requests provinces to report on progress and challenges.
The department has introduced an audit and monitoring tool, which will inform on whether procedures and processes are being followed, and whether educators are benefiting from the system.
The DoE has developed a creative moderation tool, which will ensure that scores are not inflated and that they are a better reflection of the teachers performance. Moderation is done in two phases, i.e. internal and external. Internal moderation is done by the School Management Team (SMT) and external moderation will be conducted at four levels, namely
The Circuit manager.
The District Director
The provincial IQMS coordinator, and
The national Department of Education.
 The following moderation procedures have been proposed:

School management team to moderate scores per supervisor batch based on internal school based performance scores as well as position of school on circuit performance log. Adjustments to be made by supervisors in their DSGs.  Correlation between scores awarded be per post level and performance.
Circuit manager to moderate scores of schools in circuit based on performance of school on circuit log as well as district log correlated to aggregate of educator performance scores per post level. A sample of schools is to be visited. Scores to be adjusted within expected medians. All educators who qualify for grade progression to be moderated and visited by District. Circuit managers to verify school based moderation.
District managers to moderate scores of circuits as above and verify circuit moderation processes.  Districts can adjust scores within expected medians.
PED to moderate scores of districts as above and verify district moderation processes.  Sample school based validation. PED can adjust scores within expected medians.
National to verify moderation processes and can sample districts, circuits and schools for both moderation and performance evaluation on sample basis.
Where any score is adjusted lower the adjusting authority will have to provide development.
The department has also commenced with the process of work-shopping provinces on the audit and moderation tool.
Currently the DoE is monitoring audits at school level that are being conducted by the provincial education departments.
There is agreement that Circuit Managers would take full responsibility for the implementation of the IQMS at school level.
Provinces have undertaken to ensure that random monitoring of IQMS at schools would take place on a regular basis.
There is agreement that annual IQMS orientation sessions for educators be conducted to establish the successes and also the shortcomings.
The DoE has developed comprehensive action plans for each of the provincial education departments in order to ensure that the IQMS is successfully implemented.
The capacity in managing, supporting and monitoring the IQMS at the DoE is being increased from 1 to more than 1.
Meetings are to be held with unions to share improved recommendations and consider amendments if necessary.
The establishment of a fully-fledged IQMS Directorate is planned.
Systems for data collection and data and information flow are being improved.
National Education Evaluation Unit (NEED Unit)

There is no objective process or agency that oversees performance and measures performance of teachers against a predetermined standard. This is an imperative for improvement of the quality of teaching and learning.

A national education evaluation unit will be established. The form and structure is still to be determined, however it will be nationally driven and will perhaps be an arms length agency. International practice is be considered and will be taken into account in the final form. The unit will link strongly with current processes such as the integrated quality measurement system both in terms of teacher performance and evaluation and whole school evaluation. The unit will serve as an inspectorate to moderate teacher performance, assess school learner performance and undertake full-scale inspections of all schools in a cycle of three years.


In any employment relationship, the employee renders a service to the employer by doing work and in return, the employer remunerates such an employee. In as much as the employee is entitled to a salary for doing work, the employer is equally entitled to a good quality work from an employee, i.e. an employee has a responsibility to provide good performance. As a result, the employer will have to constantly monitor the performance of an employee to ensure that it is of an acceptable standard.

In doing so, the employer is guided by a number of legislations, part of which is the incapacity code and procedures for poor work performance as contained in schedule 8 of the Labour Relations Act. These procedures have been incorporated into section 39, schedule 1 of the Employment of Educators Act.

In terms of this Act, the employer must ensure that an educator is aware of the expected standard of performance in relation to his/her job description. If the educator fails to meet the expected performance standard, the employer must notify such an educator. The employer must specify areas where the educator is not performing adequately. This is done when the educator develops his/her personal Growth Plan (PGP).

If underperformance continues, the employer may summon such an educator to a meeting where the educator’s performance will be discussed. The educator may choose to be represented by his/her trade union, or fellow employee. The educator will have the opportunity to explain reasons for his/her constant underperformance.

After considering all the representations made at such a meeting, the employer may decide to assist the educator by providing training to him/her. If, after assisting the educator with further training, such an educator continues to perform poorly, the employer may convene a formal inquiry where such an educator will be charged with misconduct for poor work performance. If found guilty, such an educator may be transferred, demoted or even dismissed.

It is clearly evident that accountability measures do exist in the Employment of Educators Act (EEA) and the challenge remains for management to utilize these mechanisms effectively and efficiently. The IQMS provides a solid basis for identification of underachievement and the EEA provides the device for remedying poor performance. The EEA linked with the IQMS becomes an effective tool in managing the different layers at provincial level.