Rises will be linked to performance

14th February 1997 at 00:00
HEADS. How the review body weighed up the evidence and reached its conclusions - two pages of extracts from the report

Governing bodies have continued to exercise their discretion to move heads and deputies up the pay spine over the last year. Our pay survey for 1996 showed that 28 per cent of heads and 27 per cent of deputies who remained in the same post were moved up the spine, much the same proportions as in 1995. The proportion of heads who moved up the spine remained constant in primary schools, rose in secondary schools, but fell in special schools, while among deputy heads, the proportion fell slightly in primary schools, but rose in both secondary and special schools.

We were concerned to find that only 63 per cent of heads had been informed in writing of their pay point; only 52 per cent had been given the grounds on which it had been determined; and only 33 per cent had been told of the grounds for future review. The position was similar for deputy heads.

It has become standard practice for any demanding management job such as that of headteacher or deputy headteachers to be subject to performance review and we remain convinced of the need for the changes which we introduced last year. Governing bodies have continued to use their discretion to move heads and deputies up the pay spine, and we welcome this where it is based on high quality performance.

During the autumn term governing bodies should have agreed performance criteria for the 199697 school year, drawing where appropriate on the performance indicators suggested previously by the Review Body. These include: examination and test results; pupil attendance; financial management; and progress in implementing inspection action plans.

From September no movement up the pay spine for heads and deputies will be permitted unless the governing body has reviewed performance against the previously agreed criteria. The only exceptions to this are: where it is necessary to ensure that the salaries paid are not below the minimum of the new normal range for the school if, due to an increase in age-weighted pupil numbers, a school has moved to a higher group; or where an acting allowance is paid on a temporary basis.

The headteacher associations and some others giving evidence to us had serious reservations about the new procedures, and about the whole concept of relating the pay of heads and deputies in some degree to performance and achievement. They referred to the importance of teamwork in the success of schools. We do not dispute this, but we also support the widely held view that heads and deputies are the main influence both in creating and sustaining such teamwork and on overall school performance.

School Teachers' Review Body Sixth Report is available from The Publications Centre, PO Box 270, London SW8 5DT, price Pounds 14

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