Have you noticed?;Briefing;Governors

11th June 1999 at 01:00
Union leader Nigel de Gruchy has spotted a sinister conspiracy between heads and governors (TES, May 28). He says local management is a corrupt system, allowing us to salt away "slush funds" to pay headteachers inflated salaries at the expense of staffing and resources.

As far as governors are concerned, this is a ludicrous allegation. Honestly Nige, we don't get a cut. But we are occasionally manipulated or bullied. I had a letter this week from a teacher complaining that her head and deputy had been voted large pay rises by the governors while the school was shedding staff. A local governor reports that not only is the head "demanding" a backdated pay rise but that the deputy "who wrote our pay policy" will get one, too.

The root of the problem is a badly-written piece of legislation requiring annual review and the setting of achievable targets, without providing objective appraisal or funding. It is remarkable that so many heads decline to take advantage of the situation. The financial stresses and damage to morale this process causes should be an awful warning to those charged with making the proposals on performance-related pay for teachers work fairly.

Joan Dalton

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