Performance-related pay for teachers 'has failed’

Unions urge government to remove PRP system ‘as a matter of urgency’, saying it 'creates needless additional workload'

highs and lows: performance-related pay criticised

Four teaching unions have today warned that the system of performance-related pay (PRP) for teachers has failed.

In a joint submission to the independent pay review body, the NEU teaching union, NAHT school leaders' union, the Voice, and the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) say that PRP has created “significant equalities concerns”.


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The submission states: “Our organisations believe that PRP in teaching has failed.  This view is shared by a growing number of MATs [multi-academy trusts]. 

"The imposition of PRP, without any equality impact assessment or credible evidence that it is appropriate for teaching, has created significant equalities concerns. Its impact on pay progression and the denial or reduction of cost of living awards has worsened the recruitment and retention problems."

The submission adds: "It creates needless additional workload and bureaucracy and reduces the scope for positive and open appraisal discussions. On any objective assessment of the evidence, it has been a failure and must be removed as a matter of urgency.”

It also warns that the government's pay plans will 'short-change' most teachers. 

The document states there is “widespread consensus” that the real-terms cuts to teacher pay and the changes to the teacher pay structure including the imposition of PRP have contributed significantly to the recruitment and retention problems, and that the "supply pipeline" for teachers and leaders "is broken at all career stages”.

Paul Whiteman, general secretary of NAHT, said: "There is a direct link between pay and leadership supply. Decisive action is urgently needed if we are to have sufficient school leaders for the future. School leaders' pay this year must begin to redress the real-terms losses they have endured over the past decade."

The Department for Education has been contacted for comment. 

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Dave Speck

Dave Speck is a reporter at Tes

Find me on Twitter @Specktator100

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