Letters extra : Is it so difficult to pay teachers a decent salary?

Tes Editorial

nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;So, "Payment by Results" is finally with us. Is anyone going to be paid in retrospect for achieving excellence achieved over the years or for putting in extra hours? I think not.

Rather, it appears that the current PMR policy does not provide sufficient information to `inform decisions about pay'. Now it has been linked to objective setting and the teacher's performance against criteria.

Is it so difficult to pay teachers a decent salary? We do not seem to have enough teachers, we do not seem to value or trust those we do employ, but we do seem hell bent on wasting hours and hours of staff time (particularly that of Head Teachers) ascertaining whether or not we have achieved a "sustained and substantial performance and contribution to the school."

As one who has enjoyed teaching for over 30 years (teaching, not futile paperwork!), I can only chuckle at the latest pathetic arrangement of hoops and hurdles we have to negotiate in order to rise to UPS2.

Isn't it time the Education Department worked out how much money and time is wasted on these so called initiatives? There will be twilight sessions, courses in London, sample applications on the web, magic software, all designed to line the pockets of someone, or some company quick enough to seize the marketing opportunities.

Most teachers would be grateful for few pounds extra, particularly young teachers purchasing property, so why not share the pot of gold equitably without requesting further tomes of evidence?

It appears that only a proportion of teachers who apply for UPS2 will actually get it. This may remind you of the ill-fated "computer package" that failed to deliver for most teachers!

Avril D Thompson
High Wycombe

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