Performance Management

In this online performance management course for language school academic managers you will explore issues related to performance management for academic staff. You will learn how to evaluate existing systems and create a consistent and coherent CPD - Continuing Professional Development - scheme in your organisation.

Most of us have heard the term ‘Performance Management’, but we probably have very different ideas about what it actually means. If you substitute ‘Performance Management’ with the phrase ‘supporting and guiding teachers in their development and professional growth’, however, we are probably already closer to a common understanding. This online module looks at the many different routes or tracks we can take with teachers to support them and help them to develop professionally. It’s not so much about managing teachers’ performance, it’s about how we can help our teachers to get the most out of teaching and how we can help them to expand their range of professional skills for the benefit of our learners.

Choose your dates and apply for this Online course in Performance Management now! >>

Who is it for?

This course is for you if you are a newer or more experienced academic manager and you want to:

  • learn how to best support your teachers
  • learn practical skills and approaches to help in supporting teacher performance
  • explore some theoretical perspectives on aspects relating to developing teachers
  • share problems and solutions with colleagues and with the support of their tutor

The course requires a minimum English language level of C1. The course can be taken by managers working in a language school context in any department e.g. DOS, Marketing Manager, Head of Reception or School Director. 


There are six units in the module. Unit topics are:

  1. My Understanding of Performance Management – we look at definitions of Performance management, the relationship between overall strategy and performance management, and consideration of an individual staff member who poses challenges when it comes to their own development
  2. Theories of Motivation - we explore key theories of motivation in depth and relate these to the individual staff member previously identified. We discuss motivation and our own management style and whether alternative management styles are possible
  3. What Exactly are We Managing – here, we focus mainly on observations as a tool for teacher development. We explore competency frameworks and how to deal with ‘difficult’ observation feedback. We also discuss the topic of staff expectations and their relationship to organisational culture and evaluate some key theorists
  4. Types of INSETT Provision – we look at in-service training models and options as part of teacher development and review ways in which in-service training can be evaluated
  5. Staff Views of Performance Management – here we consider the responses to a small-scale survey of academic staff and their views of performance management. We discuss their expectations and how we can adapt our approaches to meet these
  6. Changing the Norms – here we consider the use of the timetable as a developmental tool and the role of appraisals as part of performance management


The Performance Management module consists of six units. Each unit is wholly online and asynchronous, which means you can access the course content at a time which suits you. The only requirement is that you work on the same weekly unit as the rest of your group. You can still access earlier units but need to work within the current week.

The tutor opens each unit at the end of the week, and the full course material is provided in the unit. In your online course you will have the opportunity to discuss and share ideas with course participants. You will do this through Discussion Forum tasks which are set as part of the course content. Your tutor may also provide additional resources/reading in the Discussion Forums. 

The Discussion Forums are our main opportunity to share ideas and ask questions, and you have set Discussion Forum tasks to complete in each unit. Some of these are collaborative, i.e. you are required to work with course colleagues, or to interview colleagues in your organisation and report back to your course colleagues and tutor. Your tutor also participates actively in the Discussion Forums. Sharing ideas, questions, solutions and best practices is a key feature of the discussion forums and one of the key benefits of the module.

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Each unit has a required Portfolio Task for submission.

Your tutor marks your tasks as the course progresses and there is the opportunity to resubmit if necessary. Participants are expected to submit a minimum of 60% of the tasks. At the end of the course there is a final assignment which pushes you to reflect on what you have learnt during the course. The assignment along with your tasks makes up the portfolio that is submitted electronically to the IHWO Assessment Unit. Your tutor is on hand for support throughout. The final grade is a pass or fail. Portfolios are submitted two weeks after course completion.

You can find out about the certificate you will receive here.

Course Tutors

The course is delivered by an expert tutor and the number of participants ranges from 8 to 12. Our tutors are all experienced managers with many years of experience working in language schools as well as online training experience.

Time commitment

It depends on the individual, but we recommend a minimum of 7 to 10 hours per week spent online and doing tasks.  Your study hours are flexible, but some tasks require group input and have set deadlines.  The more time you can devote to the course, the more you will gain from it.

What is special about this course?

This course gives you the opportunity to explore a specific, management-related topic in both depth and breadth. It takes key theories related to Performance Management and contextualises them within a Language Teaching Organisation. This allows you to gain a better understanding of the theory which can underpin your own practice. The Discussion Forums allow us to discuss issues with global colleagues and learn from their experiences and ideas in different countries and organisational contexts. Having the support of an experienced tutor means that the discussions are guided and supported by further reading and resources required by your particular group; this way, the tutor support is specific to your group and contexts, and support is more tailor-made for the group.

Is there a reading list for the module?

The course reading is provided during the module, with additional resources provided by the tutor as required.

Course dates & fees

  • 6th July - 17th August 2024 (plus two weeks for the final assignment and to prepare your assessed portfolio) - £385 (£327 for IH staff)

*The course fees stated are exclusive of 20% VAT. VAT will be added to the fee if it is paid by a business or individual located in the UK.

Course fees must be paid in full prior to the start date.

How do you apply?

  1. Choose your dates and fill in the online application form, which is sent directly to us. You will have to answer some basic questions about your qualifications and experience, but there is no need to submit any documents or proof of language level.
  2. We will review your application and get in touch if we have any queries.
  3. Once your application is approved, we will send you a payment link to pay for the course via debit/credit card. 
  4. Once the payment fee is paid (by your or your employer) we will confirm your place on the course.
  5. A few weeks before the start date we will send your login details, and you can access the platform / VLE to familiarise yourself with how it works before the course starts. We will also send you any pre-module reading materials.

There is no deadline for applying, but once we have 12 people confirmed on a course, then it is full – so it is better to send your application form in as soon as you’re interested, to secure a place on the course!

We create each new course specially for the participants, and so we need to close applications on the Wednesday before the course begins to give us time for this.