Putting the Teaching Enhancement Scheme into action

There's a lot of freedom under the Teaching Enhancement Scheme to decide what you review and how, but consider confidentiality before you start.

Read about the background to the Scheme in Teaching Enhancement Scheme (TES) overview.

School or service approach

Schools and services need to meet the minimum expectations set out in the TES policy, but the flexibility of the Scheme allows them to determine their own approach. They may, for example, want to:

  • choose an annual theme or topic for staff as a focus for their TES activities
  • propose the format of groupings (eg pairs, small groups, module teams)
  • discuss the perceived conflicts between a formative, mutually beneficial reflective process and the need for confidentiality in instances of perceived risk to staff or students
  • discuss staff development needs to ensure TES is implemented effectively and staff have confidence in the process.

How to review

TES activities can be reviewed in different ways, for instance by individuals, pairs, cross-school groupings or programme teams. They can be in response to:

  • individual interests, eg use of social media in teaching
  • an individual's own perceived development needs, eg via Staff Review and Development Scheme
  • module or programme team initiatives
  • action plans and priorities, eg to respond to National Student Survey
  • school strategies, eg curriculum review, blended learning.

They can provide an opportunity for junior colleagues to lead on local developments, eg as part of ULTRA (University of Leeds Teaching and Research Award).

What to review

Schools and staff choose what they review. Examples of areas for reflection could include:

  • Assessment strategy
  • Accessibility of the curriculum
  • Meetings with tutees
  • Curriculum development
  • Strategic plans
  • Action plans
  • Fieldwork learning
  • Module review
  • Practical teaching
  • Teaching and learning materials development
  • Feedback approaches
  • Use of technology to enhance teaching and learning
  • Online discussions
  • Teaching delivery
  • Distance learning

Check if the area you are reviewing has specific University policies or guidance in the A-Z of policies and key documents.

Teaching observation

Review schemes have traditionally focused on one-to-one lecture observation, but research shows this often fails to enhance teaching practice.

Under TES, you can still use teaching observation, where appropriate, but consider lectures, tutorials, seminars and practical classes, as well as support materials the teacher provides.

Staff can ask to have aspects of their teaching observed and expect the supportive input of colleagues, or they can ask to observe a colleague. Observing colleagues identified as excellent teachers can be a great way for staff to absorb new techniques and approaches.


Confidentiality is an important area to think about before you begin any TES activity. Key points are:

  • Schools and services need evidence that TES has been completed (recorded on the TES form), but the details remain confidential to the peer pair or group.
  • Confidentiality needs to be discussed, and parameters agreed, between the participants before beginning any formal review activity.
  • Staff may choose to include sections of records or transcripts in their teaching record and to publicise outcomes from their work for the benefit of others.

Skills training

Many of the skills you need to undertake or facilitate TES are those you’d need in any teaching and learning support role. Check what training is available locally or through Staff and Departmental Development Unit if you feel you need support in areas such as: undertaking reflective practice, giving and receiving feedback, confidentiality issues, or responsibilities under duty of care and associated legislation and regulation.

Areas of concern

Duty of care

If the TES process uncovers practices that go against legislation or the duty of care to prevent foreseeable harm to colleagues and/or students, follow the relevant University guidance as found in the A-Z of policies and key documents.

Teaching quality

TES aims to establish a collegiate and developmental environment, where colleagues can discuss teaching effectiveness openly and supportively. It does not involve staff reporting issues to managers.