Polls expose pay hostility

19th February 1999 at 00:00
The vast majority of teachers believe the profession has become less attractive since Labour was elected, according to a poll commissioned by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers.

The telephone survey of 500 teachers also indicates opposition to key points of the Government's Green Paper on modernising the profession. The results add to concerns thrown up by another poll this week, conducted by the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers. This shows outright opposition to proposals linking teachers' pay to pupils' results. Ministers have said that a link is non-negotiable.

The National Union of Teachers is to encourage its members to resist. A joint ballot of all unions has been rejected, but Peter Smith, general secretary of the ATL, predicts mass civil disobedience if the objections are not heeded.

The ATL poll shows support for a new appraisal system giving teachers individual targets, but only one in five accepts the need for pay to reward good performance. Only a third said they would want to cross the performance "threshold" to a higher pay scale.

The polls showed scant support for whole-school bonus awards or fast-track teachers.

News, 3 Leader, 16

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