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Union takes legal action over appraisals

The National Union of Teachers has begun legal proceedings against the Government in protest at a lack of consultation over plans to strengthen the link between teachers' pay and performance.

Ministers have breached their legal obligation to consult teachers'

representatives by excluding the NUT and the National Association of Head Teachers from initial negotiations, it said.

Changes to appraisal rules, to be introduced from September, will give heads of department and other line managers a key role in determining pay rises and will limit classroom observations for performance management purposes to three hours each year.

The draft regulations were published last month after consultation with members of the Government's rewards and incentives group: employers; the NASUWT; Association of Teachers and Lecturers; Professional Association of Teachers; and Association of School and College Leaders.

A Department for Education and Skills spokesman denied the consultation was a paper exercise. "If the NUT respond to the consultation we will take their views on board," he said.

Performance management for teachers and heads is available from www.dfes.gov.ukconsultationsconDocument.cfm?consultationId=1386

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