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Pay link to targets plan for teachers

TEACHERS should receive only an inflation-linked annual pay award, unless they improve their performance or take on extra duties, ministers will be told by the profession's employers.

Graham Lane, chair of the National Employers' Organisation for School Teachers, will be supporting a move towards appraisal-related pay when he meets Estelle Morris, the school standards minister next month.

He said: "Schools have targets for pupils, so why not for teachers? Not a crude link to exam results, without regard to previous history or background; nor a simplistic view on who the head likes. An objective and accountable system is needed so high-quality teaching can be rewarded."

Mr Lane's draft proposes a main scale for teachers which is attractive enough for recruitment. Teachers will be able to earn more by the advanced skills teacher route, or following appraisal could be promoted with a substantial pay increase.

He said: "At present, 70 per cent of teachers are on promoted posts. If we can persuade the Treasury to provide money for teachers' pay we have to have it closely linked to the standards agenda. Teachers have enjoyed above- inflation increases. If pay were pegged to inflation then the extra money could be targeted for those who are performing well or taking on extra duties."

The proposals would mean a 10 to 20 per cent increase in the Pounds 11. 5 billion teachers' pay bill.

In February, Ms Morris announced consultation for an overhaul of the appraisal system. This is now expected to be overtaken by this autumn's Green Paper on the teaching profession. Appraisal, to date, has not been seen as a resounding success, with the unions and local authorities blaming insufficient funding. The employers believe any new system linking appraisal and pay should be carried out by the head and an external agent.

Nigel de Gruchy, general secretary of the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers, said appraisal could be a useful tool to promote teachers to higher grades if it were built into the pay system. He said: "The Green Paper is the first ray of light in the teachers' pay tunnel. "

In July, the Education Secretary David Blunkett told The TES that the Green Paper due to be published in the autumn, would seek to achieve "something for something".

The National Union of Teachers has traditionally been suspicious of linking appraisal to pay. It is holding a salaries conference next month and will be discussing a report it commissioned from consultants Coopers Lybrand.

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