Key Points:

  • Teacher evaluation policy in South Africa is deeply flawed, resulting in very limited implementation in those public schools assessed. Teacher evaluation in South African schools is the third in a series on the lessons for South Africa from international and local research on teacher evaluation as a means of improving teacher effectiveness.
  • The Integrated Quality Management System (IQMS) is a teacher evaluation policy that was designed to determine teacher competence, assess strengths and areas for development, provide support and opportunities for development to ensure continued growth, promote accountability and monitor an institution’s overall effectiveness.
  • A Ministerial Committee on the National Education and Evaluation Development Unit (NEEDU) conducted a review of IQMS and found no evidence that it would be able to serve as an effective accountability mechanism.
  • The IQMS criteria for evaluating teacher performance does not address universally agreed upon effective teaching. The failure of the IQMS points to the need for developing a new teacher evaluation policy in South Africa.
  • A positive culture for teacher evaluation, whether for performance assessment or professional development, is considered critical. All interviewees in this research study stressed that strong school leadership and teacher buy-in is essential to create a positive culture.

Press release: Teacher evaluation in other countries and South Africa: What works?