Pay scale creates 'officer class'

5th November 2004 at 00:00
You inform us that to gain a higher responsibility payment we will have to manage a significant number of staff ("Pay deal offers drop in wages", TES, October 22).

What constitutes "managing" of staff? Waffling through banal performance management with them? Setting "challenging" targets for higher SATs or GCSE grades? Chairing the department meeting?

I don't think this old "'line management" model adds much value to a school or merits the highest responsibility payment. Well-qualified professionals don't need baby-sitting.

Roles such as initiating and implementing cross-school teaching, developing working links with outside agencies or enrichment activities, require more skill and can make a bigger impact on the quality of a school than having "sergeant majors" for all units.

This plan is more to do with giving headteachers an officer class than improving teaching and learning. Control is prioritised above expertise in the actual job of teaching.

It is a badge of honour for the National Union of Teachers that the Government wouldn't include it in the negotiations.

David Cross 32 Canterbury Terrace Leicester

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