Performance pay opposed by 4 in 5

26th February 1999 at 00:00
Members of Britain's biggest teaching union are against linking salaries to appraisal. Frances Rafferty reports

FOUR out of five teachers reject performance-related pay based on an assessment by their headteacher or line manager, judging by a study conducted for the largest teaching union.

The report by Warwick University's Institute of Education also shows that an even higher proportion of the 15,000 NUT members surveyed - 90 per cent - do not believe that teachers' pay should be linked to pupil progress.

The opposition to proposed changes to teachers' pay, mirrors that found in polls by the other teacher organisations.

The NUT survey asked teachers how much they agreed with statements from the Government's Green Paper. There was huge support for teachers having a right to high-quality professional development and a majority (55 per cent) agree there should be a contractual duty for teachers to keep their skills up to date.

But, apart from some of the proposals for heads and senior staff, most of the Green Paper was given short shrift. More than 80 per cent disagree with fast-tracking of young high-flyers, 73 per cent rejected the assessment process for crossing the performance threshold. Two-thirds said threshold- crossers should not have a more demanding contract - but some thought they deserved one for taking such a divisive step.

In the union's magazine The Teacher, general secretary Doug McAvoy said David Blunkett's words about working with the profession are rapidly turning to dust.

"Far from engendering enthusiasm for working together, the Government's attempts to create the impression of an incompetent and backward-looking profession have had a demoralising effect."

The union will hold a ballot calling for an appraisal boycott if it is linked to pay.

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