School advisers in line for bonus

1st December 2000 at 00:00
LOCAL authority advisers are to get their own version of performance-related pay, writes Warwick Mansell.

Unions and the teachers' employers organisation are hammering out a deal which will give 5,500 council officers the chance to apply for a bonus which could match the pound;2,000 a year available to experienced teachers.

But unlike the Government's controversial threshold scheme, there will be no attempt to relate an applicant's performance to school or LEA results, and no place for assessors from the private sector.

And rather than being funded by Government, local authorities are footing the bill. The bonus also covers educational psychologists.

The move comes as local authorities find it more difficult to recruit advisory staff from schools because of rising pay rates for headteachers.

Average pay for heads rose by 6 per cent last year, while experienced teachers are now entitled to apply fr the pound;2,000 threshold payments.

The typical rank-and-file adviser currently earns pound;35,000 to pound;40,000 - well below the rate for secondary heads and comparable to that of heads of large primary schools.

The top rate for a principal adviser is currently pound;62,655, compared to pound;75,972 for a secondary headteacher. Most advisers are former heads.

Graham Lane, education chairman of the Local Government Association, said: "We value our staff. If we want good inspectors and advisers, we have got to be able to take steps to attract them."

Full details of the scheme are expected to be announced after a meeting between the National Employers' Organisation for School Teachers and unions next Thursday.

Mr Lane said chief education officers would be responsible for assessing an official's performance. There would be no external assessment.

Revised PRP proposals;

Document of the week, 21

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