Why 'superteachers' will erode our morale;Letter

17th April 1998 at 01:00
I believe that Government plans to reward "superteachers" with substantial pay rises within the next five years are divisive and unworkable.

The scheme will do nothing to raise the desperately low morale of a profession pilloried beyond belief by successive Governments over the past 10 years.

By the Government's own admission only "several thousand" will qualify for the new grade which means the vast majority of good, hard-working teachers will not be eligible. If, as the Government says, they intend to weed out bad teachers from the profession in the next few years, then presumably most of those left will come under the "good" teacher category".

The scheme, if it goes ahead in its present form, will cause widespread discontent among the vast majority of teachers who will have no chance of getting a significant pay rise.

To succeed, an "abuse-free" system will have to be created for judging which teachers deserve to receive super status and this will be very difficult to implement fairly.

Who is going to decide who is a superteacher? Some excellent teachers will miss out because their faces don't fit. The scheme will create colossal resentment in staffrooms and have a detrimental effect on already low morale.

Instead of awarding teachers pitiful staggered pay rises each year, and holding out the elusive carrot of superteacher status for a few, the Government should give all teachers a decent pay rise.

David Hart of the National Association of Head Teachers is right when he says that the Government, by introducing the superteacher scheme, "is merely postponing the day when it will have to provide a decent salary for all good career teachers".

PETER REED

3 Sydney Court 135 Hook Road Surbiton, Surrey

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