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Unions win a poor pay deal

It was not clear from your piece on proposed new performance management regulations ("Observations limits hailed as "victory," TES, June 16) how they could be hailed as a "great victory for teachers" by the unions that negotiated the changes as part of their social partnership with the Government.

Nigel Middleton, director of Head Support Consultancy, said: "If heads manage to establish proper procedures then it will lead to fewer teachers getting pay awards." So that could not have been the victory, but maybe the unions involved were referring to the three-hour limit on classroom observation.

However, in Croydon last year all unions in the local education authority agreed an observation policy that included a three-hour limit for all observation (including a one-hour limit on performance management observation). So something that the Rewards and Incentive Group unions ratified locally in 2005, but then agreed is worsening by three times in 2006. Can this be claimed a victory?

James Looker President Croydon NUT Forestdale primary school

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