Wales divides from England over pay

10th November 2006 at 00:00
Teachers in England will be able to increase their pay by producing evidence that their pupils' results and achievements have improved.

But in Wales, the only requirement is likely to remain that at least one of a teacher's annual performance targets relates to pupil progress - and this may only indirectly link to pay.

The Training and Development Agency for Schools (TDA) has emphasised a "profound culture change" that English schools must go through in the coming year to prepare for performance-dependent pay. New draft professional standards are to go out for consultation next month, as heads of department and other line managers gear up to recommend teachers' pay next September.

Experienced teachers will be expected to demonstrate their students'

progress is as good as, or better than, the national standard.

The National Union of Teachers said this week that it would advise teachers against accepting any measurement by exam results and percentages. "We are concerned about the old spectre of payment by results," said Steve Sinnott, the general secretary.

Rhys Williams, the union's communications officer in Wales, said its current performance management system was better.

"We have a different testing regime in Wales so performance pay would be much more difficult to link to pupils' results, which we would be against anyway," he said.

But Gareth Jones, secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders Cymru, speculated that the TDA standards could apply in Wales if they are included in next month's STRB report.

Performance management of teachers is devolved to Wales, as is determination of the standards for qualified teacher status and induction.

Pay and conditions overall, though, remain a Westminster responsibility.

That includes standards for threshold, advanced skills teachers, and the new "excellent teacher status" for those at the top of the upper pay spine.

An Assembly government spokesperson said consultations on changing these would have to apply equally in Wales - but only the pay element of them, not performance management.

She added: "The revised Department for Education and Skills performance management arrangements do not apply to schools in Wales as these are the responsibility of the Assembly, and do not affect pay decisions in Wales or pay progression criteria."

The TES 2006 pay survey shows teachers' remuneration has never been so good, with average salaries for primary and secondary teachers of pound;31,680 and pound;33,720.

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