Another major MAT ends performance pay for teachers

NEU teaching union welcomes Northern Education Trust stopping performance-related pay and changing its marking policy

John Roberts

Gauge of progress? Multi-academy trust drops performance-related pay.

A major multi-academy trust has ended its use of performance-related pay because it was causing anxiety for teachers but having little impact on student performance.

The move by the Northern Education Trust was announced in a joint statement with the NEU teaching union today.

The union has also praised a decision by the trust to introduce a new "live marking policy" which means staff will no longer mark books during evenings and weekends.

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Northern Education Trust’s chief executive, Rob Tarn, said that lesson observation and targets linked to pay progression had caused staff undue workload and anxiety. 

The NEU said Northern Education Trust was following other MATs such as E-Act, Focus, Education Alliance and Greenwood Academies Trust in no longer using performance-related pay.

Northern Education Trust runs more than 20 schools in the North of England and is predominantly based in the North East.

NEU Joint general secretary Mary Bousted said: “The NEU believes performance-related pay in education has failed. This view is shared by a growing number of academy trusts.

“The move to live marking and away from lesson observations and performance-related pay has massively reduced stress and workload for our members. At the same time, the trust is happy because pupils are learning well and making good progress.

“Rather than sitting at home marking books, teachers are able to give instant feedback and respond to what students have done in class. NEU members feel very strongly that the change has improved their workload and their teaching, as well as the learning of pupils.

“The message to other trusts is clear: putting in place measures which improve teacher workload and wellbeing will also improve students’ education.”

Mr Tarn said: “The formal process of lesson observation, numeric targets and the link to pay progression causes staff undue workload and anxiety, but there is little impact in terms of student performance. We believe the new policy achieves the best outcomes for students and supports teachers.

"Now staff seem to feel valued and have a better work-life balance. At the same time, children are getting a much-improved quality of education and much-enhanced life chances.

"We have four of the 20 most improved secondary schools in England for the proportion of students passing maths and English.

“I would encourage school leaders to look at what actually has an impact on children's progress and if there's something that doesn't, do away with it.”

Tes reported last year on E-Act's plans to end performance-related pay.

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John Roberts

John Roberts

John Roberts is North of England reporter for Tes

Find me on Twitter @JohnGRoberts

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