Letters extra: Cash rewards are divisive

22nd June 2001 at 01:00
We are writing to express our concern about what seems to be a particularly divisive approach to raising standards in our schools. Namely, the use of cash rewards for improving performance and results over the last four years.

Having received the 'School Achievment Award for Excellence', we can hardly be accused of sour grapes. Yet we are left feeling rather uneasy about the effect that such rewards have on the morale of schools who do not receive them.

We all work extremely hard at London Fields, but we know that the same could be said for any number of other schools which have not been similarly 'rewarded'. We wonder where this approach may stop - will children be singled out next for 'bonus payments'?

Like the vast majority of our colleagues in other schools, we will continue to teach our children to the best of our ability, but if our SATs results are lower this year, will that mean that we are less effective than last year?

There are so many ways to improve school performance, but they would cost far more than this flawed scheme. Let's hope this was a 'one-off', and that the new Secretary of State for Education and Skills will have a clearer vision of what our schools need.

The Teaching Staff
London Fields Primary School
Hackney
London E8

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