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Guidelines for 360 Feedback surveys in schools.

Updated: Dec 28, 2023

There is a plethora of literature stating reasons why 360 Feedback surveys cause more damage than good in workplaces, furthermore it is argued that they do not belong in education. I have witnessed 360 Feedback surveys offer constructive and helpful guidance within Higher Education, but I have also seen data used in the wrong manner in schools, causing ill feeling and irreversible damage to team morale and individual's confidence.

School Leaders who insist on using such research strategies as the 360-degree feedback survey often do without the research knowledge of what they are doing and how it should be implemented correctly. Below are guidelines that may assist:

• Design of the survey - There should be more positive than negative questions.

o Are the questions probing positive or negative feedback?

o How many questions do you have? What is the ratio of positive to negative?

• Why would the survey be anonymous? What is the purpose of anonymity?

• Ethics approval - Is there a member of staff/ Governors with research expertise who could proofread the survey and consider how it will be conducted?

• The key researcher conducting the survey should screen for offensive words only. No data is to be manipulated in anyway, especially qualitative descriptions.

• Only the staff member should have access to the data (original) and they can only be encouraged to share with their line manager as part of any professional development/appraisal – they do not have to do this (not obliged).

• Resources such as Employee Support/Assistance (counselling) are made available to support staff wellbeing

• As the 360-degree survey can sit within workplace harassment – all staff members should be given the choice to opt out if they wish

• For the purposes of the anti-discrimination legislation harassment is:

o unwanted conduct on one or more prohibited grounds which has the purpose or effect of violating the recipient’s dignity or of creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for the recipient.

• Please refer to the Model School Inclusion Policy below for details and definitions of workplace bullying and harassment.

stress caused by 360 feedback surveys
stressed teacher


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