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Worth of PRP is an unknown quantity;Letter

Teachers should not be lulled into a false sense of security by the bland reassurance of the managing director of Hay Management Consultants (TES, June 18). Having just accepted the Government's commission, he would say that, wouldn't he?

Several local authorities have used Hay to try to introduce performance-related pay for many of their centrally-employed staff, including educational psychologist; others are still trying. While it is relatively easy to appraise the quantitative aspects of many categories of workers, including our members, I know of no way of assessing the qualitative aspects of the work of most professionals in the field of education, also including our members.

Furthermore, I know of no local authority where Hay has "got it right" for educational psychologists, but I do know of several where, after the expenditure of considerable sums of money, and after many fairly unpleasant experiences for our members, the LEAs have conceded that Hay "got it wrong", and the attempt to introduce PRP has been allowed to wither on the vine.

The efficacy of PRP, particularly as a psychological motivator, is to say the least an unproven assumption, and until such time as its worth is proven, it should be treated as such. It is not appraisal per se which is wrong, (indeed, it may serve many useful purposes), it is the dogmatic linking of that appraisal to levels of remuneration which is of unknown worth.

J Brian Harrison-Jennings

General secretary

Association of Educational Psychologists

26 The Avenue, Durham

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