A study of teacher appraisal and its adoption from what is seen by many in education as a quite alien occupational culture - the world of commerce and industry, where appraisal systems have existed for many years. The study takes an historical view of the introduction and expansion of performance appraisal schemes in industry and examines alternative appraisal systems being introduced to enhance employee involvement and commitment.The question of quality in education and discussion about standards and excellence in schools, as well as the political concern about value for money, has brought about an acceptance of the introduction of appraisal systems for teachers. However, there has ·never been so much rapid change in education as in the last few years and the timing of the introduction of teacher appraisal has been questioned by many.The research investigates the chequered history of teacher appraisal in England and Wales and also examines the more recent record of staff development and appraisal in Scottish education. lt also looks at the adoption and implementation of the Scottish Office Education Department's appraisal training programme in Lothian Region and presents the results of a questionnaire survey of some of the appraised teachers in that Region. The results of the survey indicate an appreciation of opportunities created by the introduction of an appraisal system closely linked to staff development and an indication that appraisal has led to a greater coherence in schools with improvements to communication.The analysis argues that the world of education has learned from the quality and quantity of staff training and development in industry, adopting comprehensive, top-down systems of staff appraisal. The introduction of appraisal systems has resulted in an awareness of changing attitudes and needs among many teachers and educational establishments. Preparation for appraisal and staff development is popularising the use of structured approaches to professional development and other schemes encouraged in industry to help with the management of change and the provision of a quality serviceThe study observes that, in industry, the emphasis, more and more, is on flattened hierarchies, teamwork, continuous improvement and valuing the individual. The key to good teacher appraisal, therefore, is to take the best of business practice, without losing sight of the educational vision. Although the survey concludes with a positive response from the respondents to the benefits of teacher appraisal in Lothian, the most recent signs are -that appraisal of teachers in Scotland will not be a priority after Regional R~organisation in April 1996.