Don't let pay be a demotivator

10th December 2010 at 00:00

Since the work of Alfie Kohn and W E Deming dismissed pay linked to performance as a motivator, no academic that I am aware of has endorsed individual performance pay for public sector professions, particularly teachers. There is no evidence - again, of which I am aware - that performance-related pay for teachers is effective; there are only ideological assumptions.

As you say, sufficient pay is central to recruitment, retention and motivation. While setting pay above the level of sufficiency may not make a difference, the reverse is not the case. If pay is set too low, graduates simply take their expertise elsewhere. There is plenty of evidence from previous periods of low pay to support this contention.

Your analysis took account of the pay freeze and pension hikes but did not mention the effect of the trebling of student fees. Qualified teachers would start paying back their loans from day one, and this will have a sharp effect on recruitment.

The elephant in the room when talking about delegating more pay powers to heads is how you would prevent abuse of the system. More defined criteria were introduced for incentive allowances in the 1980s precisely because additional pay had been distributed according to whether the head liked you; whether you were quiescent; whether your face fitted; and whether you were a union activist.

There is no desire among any of the teacher unions to return to those times.

Martin Freedman, Head of pay, conditions and pensions, ATL.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now