More hurdles to higher pay grades

13th January 2006 at 00:00
New list of standards for staff wanting to pass threshold is five times as long as old one, report Michael Shaw and Graeme Paton

Teachers will have to meet new, tougher professional standards, particularly if they want promotion.

The draft standards, expected to be published by the Training and Development Agency for Schools today, will make it harder for teachers to pass the performance threshold, which carries a pound;2,000 pay rise. They will also require all staff to be more aware of child protection laws.

Ministers demanded the new standards to make career paths for teachers clearer and help schools make more consistent decisions about pay and promotions.

The revised standards, which teachers can comment on before they are finalised in May, make it easier to compare the expectations of staff who want to pass induction, qualified teacher status, and the threshold. They also include standards for advanced skills teachers and the new "excellent teacher" status.

The new standards for QTS, which all state-school teachers must have, include new responsibilities. They must be able to plan lessons; identify what in-service training they need; be aware of child protection legislation; and be open to innovations in teaching The changes for staff who wish to pass the performance threshold are more significant. Those who pass the threshold to become senior teachers will have their salaries boosted from a minimum of pound;28,005 to pound;30,339. The list of standards demanded for the threshold is five times longer than before. These standards are mostly tougher versions of those for QTS, but with extra expectations.

They say senior teachers should guide colleagues to work with support staff more effectively and be well-informed about child protection legislation.

They must also evaluate different techniques for handling pupil behaviour.

However, the threshold standards no longer include the expectation that teachers must show their pupils' test results are good or better than similar students nationally.

Mary Doherty, director of the teacher's programme at the TDA, said: "We were asked to produce standards that are more stretching, so the expectations on teachers who wish to pass the threshold have increased.

"The aim is not to create a condition where fewer teachers go through the threshold: it is to create a situation where expectations are higher."

Figures show that 95 per cent of those who applied to cross the threshold, which is judged on an individual basis by headteachers, were successful in 2004.

John Bangs, head of education for the National Union of Teachers, said he was concerned that the new standards might make it harder for teachers to win increases in pay. But he was delighted that teachers' promotions would be less dependent on test results.

"There are many other plus points in the standards, such as the greater emphasis on equality and child protection," he said.

The standards for the new excellent teachers appear almost identical to those for advanced skills teachers. But excellent teachers will not have to visit other schools and their work should be "the pinnacle of classroom practice".

"I imagine ASTs would be miffed to read that they are not the pinnacle," Mr Bangs said.

Teachers can see the revised standards and respond to them from Monday at www.tda.gov.ukyoursay

THE NEW STANDARDS

What teachers must do to get: Qualified Teacher Status

* Understand the roles of other teachers and support staff

* Take more responsibility for their own training

* Be up to speed with innovations in classroom methods

* Have up-to-date subject knowledge and appreciate how it affects attainment

* Have working knowledge of the curriculum and other initiatives for their subject

* Know national and local assessment requirements

* Be aware of child welfare legislation

* Be able to use technology to improve their teaching

* Have a clear framework for controlling behaviour Performance threshold

* Contribute to and implement new school policies

* Identify opportunities for cross-curricular work and curriculum development

* Make effective provision for talented and special needs pupils

* Guide colleagues on the effective use of assistants

* Evaluate the effectiveness of different management techniques

* Help colleagues improve their classroom styles Excellent Teacher status

* Play a significant part in development of new school policies

* Promote links with parents and carers

* Help set training targets for other teachers

* Have good knowledge of different teaching styles and advise others on them

* Know how to coach and mentor colleagues on work with talented and special needs pupils

* Monitor and evaluate the arrangements set up to track pupil progress Advanced Skills Teacher

* Act as a link to other schools, colleges and educational bases

* Be able to apply skills and techniques gleaned from other schools to your own school

* Advise teachers and staff in other schools and educational bases on the most effective way to get the most out of pupils

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