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Alternative to pay and progress link

IT is not right that "only the National Union Teachers will press for the controversial link between pay and pupil progress to be dropped", (TES, July 28).

The Professional Association of Teachers has argued against that link ever since December 1998 when the idea was first formally put forward in the Green Paper. Teaching is a collegiate activity and links between pupil progress and an individual teacher's performance are impossible to quantify safely; so it is foolish to use such a link for pay purposes.

If there were to be changes to the existing threshold standards for this year, then nearly 200,000 teachers would have to repeat of the whole bureaucratic and time-consuming applicaton process. Headteachers would have to carry out new assessments of the new forms. No one wants this.

Employers can now determine, without a teacher having to decide whether to complete an application form, that a teacher's performance is of such a high standard that they can be awarded two incremental points on the basic pay spine, say of pound;2,202 from Point 4 to 6, instead of the usual one. Therefore, the PAT continues to argue that there can surely be a similar consideration about the threshold where the pay increase is less, ie pound;2,001.

Alan Manasseh

Senior professional officer

Professional Association of Teachers

2 St. James' Court

Friar Gate


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