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Badly managed performance plan

AS a headteacher I have received a great deal of literature and training vaunting the benefits of performance management.

I last received an incremental point in 1995, since when I have led the school through two successful inspections and, according to the Office for Standards in Education and the governors, I have performed well over the period.

Recently the governors re-viewed my performance and set my salary in accordance with the Teachers' Pay and Conditions Document 2000. On the basis of my performance in the academic year 1999-2000 in which I met my targets despite a serious shortage of permanent teachers (under 50 per cent at one point and never more than 70 per cent); my performance over the last five years and my commitment to the school I was awarded the maximum increase that the governors are allowed to give - 2.3 per cent if inner-London weighting is added to the leadership spine points.

Is this really intended to motivate me after I have assessed teachers' threshold bids to receive a 7.6 per cent rise (8.3 per cent if inner-London weighting is ignored)?

Apart from this derisory inrease the Teachers' Pay and Conditions Document 2000 states that the individual salary range may no longer be set outside the school-group range unless the school is in special measures or has serious weakness.

There is no guidance as to what should be done where last year's range was legitimately set outside the school group range to reflect recruitment and retention difficulties in areas such as Lambeth. I fail to see how removing governors' flexibility will aid recruitment or retention.

Finally, the cost of training headteachers and other staff, hiring consultants and mandatory advisers, the administration costs and profits of Cambridge Education Associates and The Consortium, not to mention the monitoring by the Department for Education and Employment must add up to a substantial part of the nation's education budget.

Exactly how much will the annual cost be to give a headteacher a pound;1,000 increment every two or three years, or in my case not at all in the eight years before I retire?

Andrew Hicks

Christ Church CE primary school

Cotherstone Road

Brixton, London SW2

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