Teachers reject government plans for performance pay

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Despite the government presenting plans for performance-related pay as an opportunity to pay good teachers more, the majority of professionals are against the plans.

More than seven in 10, or 74 per cent, are opposed to the idea according to a YouGov Teacher Track Survey. A majority of school leaders (55 per cent) have also rejected the changes.

The proposed move to performance-related pay will see the scrapping of mandatory pay points from September 2013. Pay increases for classroom teachers would instead be linked to annual appraisals judged against the new Teachers’ Standards.

It means that classroom teachers’ pay will not rise automatically in line with their experience at the chalkface. The current pay bands for teachers are £21,588 to £31,552 outside London (£27,000 to £36,387 for those in the capital).

The plans would also give schools the freedom to create teaching posts with salaries above the upper pay scale, as well as to use fixed-term responsibility allowances of up to £2,500 a year for time-limited projects.

The poll of 748 primary and secondary teachers in England and Wales reported that teachers are “overwhelmingly opposed to every aspect of the new pay regime, except for the decision to retain higher pay bands for teachers in London and the surrounding area”.

As well as 74 per cent being against linking all pay progression to performance based on annual appraisals by line managers, 79 per cent were also against abolishing the statutory pay scales to give headteachers greater freedom to control salaries.

It comes as a separate YouGov poll for the Sunday Times shows public opinion is divided over the plans. It found 48 per cent in favour of the current system, while 43 per cent support the change to performance-related pay.

YouGov associate director Ian Neale said: “Michael Gove is clearly very determined to push through his reform agenda, even if it attracts the ire of teachers. The difference in the strength of opposition between heads, deputy heads and classroom teachers adds an interesting dynamic to how schools will implement this policy on the frontline.”


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