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Pay and results cannot be linked;Letter

IN THE same week that Peter Smith, general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, produced his government-friendly piece on the reform of teachers' pay (TES, September 17) the ATL was supporting a National Union of Teachers' motion at the TUC which "condemns the Government's proposals to reintroduce payment by results and impose performance-related pay".

The ATL delegation is absolutely right. Paragraph 20 of the "technical consultation paper" spells out the proposed centrality of exam performance to pay by indicating that the appraisal meeting would be delayed "to the start of the following academic year where national examination or assessment results are needed to complete the appraisal".

"Decisions on pay" would then follow. The sequence of exam results, appraisal then pay determination couldn't be clearer.

Of course the Government will deny any such crude link. Instead it will use a redefined appraisal scheme to provide a thinly-

disguised buffer. This is why the NUT's boycott is in place and why those who supported us at the TUC should now consider other ways of furthering staffroom unity on this issue.

I appeal to Mr Smith to start directing his criticism in the appropriate direction: at a Government which shows contempt towards the outcome of its own consultation exercise because it didn't get the answers it wanted to questions of its own choosing.

Steve Jenkins

Vice-chair salaries committee

National Union of Teachers

3 Stags Way

Osterley, Middlesex

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