Will parents expect child to be taught by top-notcher?:What the Heads say

19th March 1999 at 00:00
PARENTS may object if their child is taught by a teacher who has not crossed the performance threshold for higher pay, a headteachers' union has warned.

The Government has proposed a performance-related system where teachers are assessed so they can pass on to a higher pay scale and new contract.

But in its response to the recent Green Paper, the Secondary Heads Association says it envisages problems with parents who believe they will be getting second best if their child is not taught by a "threshold teacher".

SHA says that while it supports appraisal for raising the performance of teachers, it thinks it unwise to link it to pay annually. It said many SHA members are strongly opposed to the proposals on PRP and it doubts whether the association's constructive response will carry their support.

"It is widely believed the proposals will create divisiveness and jealousies among colleagues, threatening the collegiality which has been built up in schools over many years," it said.

SHA is also concerned the proposals will greatly increase the responsibility and workload of heads and senior staff who will be required to appraise all their colleagues. The head could also be exposed to a new area of grievance procedure.

Most secondary schools will have a majority of teachers on point 9 or above, and will be eligible for threshold assessment.

"If in the first year all apply to go through the threshold, it is difficult to see how the process can be managed," it said.

The association calculates it will cost pound;1,394 million to implement the Green Paper in the first two years - higher than the pound;1 billion earmarked by the Government.

The School Performance Award - where whole schools will receive a cash bonus - is rejected by SHA until more robust criteria are formulated to make it workable.

The response is not all negative. SHA welcomes the extra money, an appraisal system for teachers, the leadership pay spine and national framework for headship training.

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