Teachers don't trust heads on pay deals

4th September 1998 at 01:00
TWO out of three teachers reject performance-related pay, mainly because they don't trust their heads to make fair judgments, according to the National Union of Teachers.

But the majority do want their pay to be linked with professional development.

Doug McAvoy, NUT general secretary, predicted his members would back an executive motion proposing performance-related pay at a salalaries conference later this month.

"There will be no return to payment by results," he said.

The survey of 12,000 teachers found more than 90 per cent are unhappy with the existing salary structure. Nearly three-quarters said it should be based on experience, additional responsibilities, professional development and achievement of agreed national standards.

Mr McAvoy said: "Without persuasion or explanation, teachers have declared their opposition to performance-related pay. It can never be fair, linked as it is to pupil performance which can vary from school to school and from year to year as the pupils change."

He said the results of the survey would contribute to the union's consultation on the Government's Green Paper on the modernisation of the profession, due later this autumn.

David Blunkett, the Education and Employment Secretary, said in The TES (July 24) that teachers' pay must be linked to their performance and targets, including those related to pupil achievement.

The survey highlighted the profession's frustration with the "pay ceiling" at point 9 (Pounds 22,410) that most teachers came up against. Mr McAvoy said that his members believe they should be paid more if they achieve specific targets.

He said a national scheme of targets and competencies, in management or administrative skills, or in classroom teaching, would be assessed through observation. These would merit extra pay.

Mr McAvoy said the wholesale rejection of performance-related pay was largely based upon teachers' distrust of relying upon the say-so of their head for pay enhancement. The union believes education authorities should play a role in the professional development of teachers.

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