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Everyone's a threshold winner

ALMOST every teacher who applied to cross the performance-related pay "threshold" has been successful, an independent poll has revealed.

The NOP poll of 1,000 teachers, gives the first indication of how the performance-related pay scheme - which promises a pound;2,000 rise to those who succeed - is working.

The Government has yet to release details of the success rate for the 200,000 of the eligible 250,000 teachers nationally who applied to cross the threshold.

But the poll of members of the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers shows that the overwhelming majority have been successful. Of those eligible to apply, 87 per cent did so and 95 per cent of these were successful. Some 57 per cent of NASUWT members were eligible to apply.

The teachers were spread throughout the country, two-thirds were women and almost half had been in the job for 20 or more years.

Nigel de Gruchy, NASUWT general secretary, said: "I am delighted. This just shows the quality of our members."

If th poll result was replicated across the country, around 190,000 teachers would receive the bonuses.

The Department for Education and Employment estimates that 80 per cent of threshold applicants will have had their applications assessed by Easter. The rest will have to wait an extra month.

Neither the National Union of Teachers nor the Association of Teachers and Lecturers have information on members' performance.

But the success rate has prompted questions about the value of the whole exercise.

One London head who recommended that several threshold applicants should fail was told by an assessor: "We are looking for adequacy, not excellence."

Alan Smithers, of the centre for education and employment research at Liverpool University, said: "This is not about identifying successful teaching.

"It's less about performance-related pay than the DFEE coming to a set of arrangements to get the necessary money from the Treasury to give teachers a pay rise."

Letters, 19

Briefing, 23

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