What the NUT members say

23rd April 1999 at 01:00
Simon Jones, a junior teacher at St James Church of England primary in Blackburn, favours a boycott. He said: "The new appraisal system for this year will be used to assess pay-by-results next year, so if we don't boycott it now it could be too late."

Maggie Stableford, head of faculty at Northfleet school for girls in Kent, said: "I'm glad strike action has been postponed. I've been told to appraise people under the old system for this year. If I'd been asked to do it under the new system I would have refused."

Jane Lewis, deputy head of Victoria Infants School in Chester, said she was in favour of appraisals, but not of "the type outlined in the Green paper".

"A boycott is better than a strike, she said. "As a deputy head I'm in a tricky position and couldn't boycott myself, but I sympathise totally with those who will."

George Wiskin, head of Westwood high, Leek, Staffordshire, said: "The Government has rightly identified the need for a fairer mechanism for giving teachers a pay rise. But it's a major error to suggest that the results of pupils should be a factor in evaluating pay.

"This harsh link to a late 19th-century notion has caused resentment and is very foolish. It's also incredibly bureaucratic. But we do need a salary system to upgrade skills and motivate staff as the present structure is hopeless - by the time some teachers are 33, they have reached the highest level they'll get to with at least 20 years to go.

"I'm in favour of a system to upgrade skills on a regular basis, linking competence and improved performance."

"The NUT was probably right to postpone the strike ballot for now but I think strikes may be inevitable next year, although it's the last thing we all want," said Brian Peacock, head of Intack primary in Blackburn. He added: "Pupils only perform well when all the staff are working together and to a common aim. Singling out individual teachers and judging them on pupil performance over a given time is grossly unfair."

Rob Povey, curriculum manager at John Mansfield school in Peterborough, said: "As a teacher for more than 20 years, I'm a veteran of many campaigns. I'm aware that younger colleagues are willing to take action, but I'm not sure what effect it would have and I don't think there's a will for a prolonged campaign."

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