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Remuneration trepidation

I note last week's editorial ("Whisper it, but performance pay might be good news", 28 September) with interest. The current trajectory of government policy is to give heads and governing bodies greater control over the salaries budget and this will in due course be accompanied by tighter funding levels. The story is drearily familiar to those with experience of FE after incorporation in the early 1990s, where local pay determination has resulted in very significant drops in the average level of remuneration, even if some staff are highly rewarded.

The implication for schools, where salaries are the largest part of the budget, will be that average remuneration falls, disguised by individualised performance pay - or running harder to stand still. The last government tried to redress the pay issue for school teachers (but not FE) by creating a proper career structure. Clearly the numbers of teachers who deserted Labour at the last election might suggest they did not get it right, but the principle is clearly better than a reward system based on nebulous and possibly inequitable performance appraisal.

Dr John Hurley, Learning Partners.

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