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pound;60m in school bonus awards;Pay Award 99

The Government has allocated pound;60 million a year to reward school teams. The bonuses will be one-off, non-consolidated payments. Between a quarter and third of schools will benefit annually.

The Performance Award Scheme also aims to support those working in difficult, inner-city schools. Critics of the scheme say the amounts that will be given to staff will be merely token. Awards to schools with 20 staff, if shared equally, would result in pound;350 each.

There are three types of bonus:

* Award for excellence Schools will be judged on their exam results - in key stage 2 English and maths, key stage 3 in core subjects and pupils gaining at least 5 GCSE A*-C. Schools will be judged in bands based upon proportion of pupils on free school meals to compare like with like.

* Award for improvement Rewards schools showing the highest level of sustained improvement over three years.

* Other awards Special schools, pupil-referral units and first and small middle schools will receive bonuses based upon achievement of individualised targets.

The Government is consulting on whether to leave heads to distribute the award to the most deserving, or to give each member of staff a flat rate.

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