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Pay plan may still trip over threshold

TEACHERS may have to fill out a seven-page form and provide evidence they can meet eight sets of standards to win their pound;2,000 pay rise.

The latest draft of the application form and guidance notes for crossing the Government's new performance threshold also suggest that gradings by inspectors could be used by heads in judging whether their staff pass or fail.

The form, expected to go out to consultation next week, for publication in March, is already extensively slimmed down. Ministers say they want it to be as simple as possible.

But Nigel de Gruchy, general secretary of the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers, condemned it as a "bullshitters' charter" which would see rises going to those teachers who could best sell themselves.Applicants must prove that they:

challenge and support all pupils to do their best;

have a thorough and up-to-date knowledge of their subjectspecialisms and relevantwider curriculum developments;

plan lessons to meet pupils' individual needs;

use a range of teaching and classroom management strategies

use assessment data to set targets and give pupils' feedback;

take responsibility for their professional development, and

contribute to the policies and aspirations of their school.

Most controversially, they must demonstrate that "as a result of their teaching, their pupils attain good marks or grades ... relative to pupils' prior attainment and in the context of national levels of achievement".

The National Union of Teachers's leader, Doug McAvoy, said members would be furious to see that criterion: "Not only is it mechanistic and bureaucratic, it's a confirmation of payment by results."

Teachers must show they have worked at this level for between two and three years. Heads will approve their staff's applications, subject to vetting by outside assessors.

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