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A fair approach to change;Leading Article;Opinion

Last year's Green Paper, Teachers: meeting the challenge of change, aspired to no less than a complete revolution in the culture of the profession. The ensuing consultation (page 1) suggests there is some way to go. Certainly, the Government has failed to explain to - or convince - the majority of teachers that rewards linked in part to pupil progress would not mean crude payment by results.

Teachers have been forced to come to terms with a number of unwelcome realities in recent years. Now, with heads and the majority of governors apparently backing the Green Paper, the fact that the money for performance pay will be available in 2000, and the determination of David Blunkett to press on, it looks as if they will be confronted by another.

It does not have to be that way. Effective teaching should be recognised and rewarded and pupil progress must be one element of its assessment. The crucial question is how that is to be managed fairly and in a way that is not inimitable to good teamwork and a broad and balanced education. That is the challenge of change, not just for Government, but for heads, governors and the profession as a whole.

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