THE National Union of Teachers has set the Government a deadline of March 31 to drop controversial plans to link appraisal to pupils' performance or risk industrial action.
Doug McAvoy, NUT general secretary, said the Government faced its biggest confrontation with the teaching profession for a century unless it compromised.
The NUT is furious that ministers have brought forward plans to change the appraisal system by September while consultation is continuing over the Green Paper which first outlined the plans.
The changes would pave the way for heads to link salaries to appraisal - and in turn to pupils' results.
"It is disgraceful to consider these kind of changes while views are still being sought on the Green Paper," Mr McAvoy told teachers, governors and education officials in Portsmouth on Tuesday.
"Unless the Government announces by the end of March that it does not intend to change the appraisal system this year, we will ballot our members not to co-operate with appraisals of this kind.
"It took 25 years to get rid of the last system of payment by results. This will set us on course for a confrontation between teachers and the Government that has not been seen since the last time this system was introduced."
But Mr McAvoy also offered some hope. "If we have a collective approach, even this Government will listen to us and think again and come forward with a different set of proposals," he said. He is a long-time supporter of a single union for classroom teachers.
The NUT will present its response to the Green Paper to ministers on March 23. Members will lobby MPs a day later.
Green Paper, 18