Schools not implementing pay reform plans

A new survey has revealed widespread confusion over performance related pay and that thousands of schools are failing to put a process in place to judge teachers’ performance.

Schools are expected to introduce guidelines this month in the lead-up to the introduction of performance-related pay next September, The Telegraph reports. But a survey of school governors found that one in five of them said that their school hasn’t yet put a process in place for assessing performance in the classroom and 18% of them couldn’t explain how the system would work. Only 51% of governors agreed that linking salaries to performance is likely to ‘improve students’ attainment’ – down 54% who backed the pay reforms previously.

Individual schools have been given complete freedom to define ‘performance’, although recent government guidance has suggested that wages could be linked to improved exam results, keeping order in the classroom or taking part in extra-curricular activities. Ofsted is being given a specific remit to ensure salaries are tied to teaching standards.

ASCL’s Brian Lightman described the failure of so many schools to implement the reforms as ‘worrying’: “Potentially, that could undermine the whole process,” he said.

Meanwhile, a report from the think-tank Reform has fuelled the debate about performance-related pay. It found that there was very little difference in teachers’ pay across England. This was  despite wide variations in the standard of education pupils receive, with teachers in schools rated as ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted being paid little over £600 more than schools with ‘inadequate teaching’. The report said it reinforced the need for performance-related pay despite opposition from teaching unions.

Is your school getting ready for the reforms to teachers’ pay? What are your views about the judgment of your performance influencing your pay packet?

5 thoughts on “Schools not implementing pay reform plans

  1. this is plainly ridiculous. My school had a performance related appraisal system 15 years ago .
    What is the problem ?

  2. I think you should explore the whole ‘performance related pay’ issue in much more detail. The idea that teachers in an outstanding school are better than one which is inadequate has little to do with the quality of teachers in my view. It is about the intake and management. In one school a teacher can get outstanding, because the pupils are well motivated, from well educated families or families which value education. And because in such a school the management tend to be on top of any problems and run a supportive follow-up system.

    The same teacher, in a school with a catchment area which has a high level of pupil turnover, pupils from families with many social problems and Special Needs, may be inadequate because the management is under so much pressure it just can’t give effective support.

    In my view pay should be linked not simply to individual teacher performance but related to school catchment and management. This might be more difficult to measure but it would reflect much more accurately the actual performance of the teacher. Teachers who work in the most difficult and challenging schools and get good results deserve much higher pay than those in more professional and affluent areas.

  3. We have just looked in to this issue and found that GCSE teachers are not only opposed to performance related pay, but that they do not actually think it will help improve attainment. GCSE teachers were asked their agreement with the following statement using a scale of 1-10 where 1 was ‘strongly disagree':

    Paying teachers based on performance in exams will result in a better education system in terms of providing students who are prepared for further study or the workplace.

    Half gave a response of ‘1’, whilst 79% gave a response of 1-3. This would suggest that teacher’s do not think the new policy will be effective – and as they have the experience, there is an argument to say they should be listened to. You can see the research in it’s entirety, including some verbatim comments from teachers, here:

  4. I totally agree with the new performance related pay whilst I can understand the anxiety of some headteachers who are faced with a tight budget and challenging context of their school. Firstly, I think it only too fair that teachers who work in challenging context and go that extra mile planning far more engaging and creative lessons to motivate and secure some of the most unengaged pupils you can think about, into wanting to learn, deserve more pay and recognition! Why should they be paid the same as someone who works in a school with none of the challenges of a school that is situated in a socially deprived community with disaffected families who have no interest in education for all of the reason that are justified due to their own personal experiences. However, I do hope that funding is more readily and fairly available to those schools that recruit pupils from these deprived communities but miss funding allocations because they just sit outside of the geographical boundaries… Otherwise we are going to have some schools recruiting all the best teachers because they can afford to whilst others simply…well I’ll let you work it out.

  5. Reply to Sofina.
    Just because the teacher who works in a catchment “with none of the challenges of a school that is situated in a socially deprived community with disaffected families who have no interest in education” does not mean that they do not have to work as hard. This is a well worn and incorrect stereotype. The challenges are different, but no less arduous in my experience. Differing pay for teachers will ensure there will be little mobility, less breadth of experience for the students taught by teachers who have not been able to move from their areas. With the present method of teacher training ensuring that many new teachers work in the area they are trained, teachers will be become “stuck”, for want of a better phrase, where they are. How about that for motivation and experience being spread about the schools?

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