The research reported in this article recognises the importance of a case-study school in understanding how externally imposed change is being internally implemented. The focus of the research is concerned with teacher perceptions of the appraisal process as they had experienced it during the first cycle in 1993-94. The positive and negative experiences of the teachers are presented by exploring whether appraisal is or can be a learning process which can enable a school to become a learning organisation. The positive aspects of teachers as individual and collective learners is discussed and the key outcome is that while experiences so far have been positive, the potential to become a learning school is being hindered. The barriers to this development are more than a lack of resources to fund time and in-service education and training (IN SET), but are to do with the conceptualisation of appraisal as a series of tasks within a rational biennial cycle which is installed into the school. The article concludes by identifying that teachers will only become conscious and competent learners if they not only do, but also design the tasks within a flexible and negotiated framework.