Demand for end to automatic pay rises

6th October 2000 at 01:00
STATE schools that employ their own staff this week called for performance-related pay for all teachers from the day they start work.

The Foundation and Voluntary Aided Schools Association wants an end to automatic pay rises that teachers in England and Wales get for each year of service.

The association represents two-thirds of the former grant-maintained schools as well as some 150 voluntary-aided schools.

Unions and local authorities criticised the assocation's demand, made in a submission to the School Teachers' Review Body, which is currently considering the annual pay round.

Nigel de Gruchy, general secretary of the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers, warned: "This will go down badly with the profession. The overwhelming majority of teachers improve over the first few years just by the experience ."

Graham Lane, education chair of the Local Government Association, said the power to withhold the automatic rises from poor teachers already rested with schools that were employers. Most state school teachers are employed by local authorities.

But Joan Binder, chairman of the associaion, which has 800 members, said: "If we are going to have performance management in schools, it should start from the time teachers join the profession."

School governors warned the review body that a pay round award of under 4 per cent will hit morale and recruitment. The National Governors' Council said teachers' starting salaries were too low.

It warned against the Government's aim of an award "consistent with the 2.5 per cent inflation target" and called for a big rise in London weighting.

The National Union of Teachers also called for a significant rise in starting salaries. In its review body submission, the union claims recruits, who receive around pound;16,000-a-year, are earning up to 14 per cent less than graduates in other professions. After three years their pay rises by 18 per cent, compared with up to 45 per cent in other jobs.

The NUT is also calling for no more than 30 pupils per class and 20 per cent of the teaching timetable to be free of classroom duties.

The Association of Teachers and Lecturers wants teachers to be working less than 50 hours a week by 2004.

Document of the Week, 21

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