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EDITIONS
Teachers Pay Friday, 10 March, 2000, 16:32 GMT
Teachers' pay appraisal deadline extended
class scene
Appraising teachers will be time-consuming for heads
Alison Stenlake reports from the Secondary Heads Association's annual conference in Harrogate.

Head teachers in England are to get extra time and money to assess teachers under the new performance-related pay scheme, the government has announced.

Heads of larger secondary schools, where 40 or more staff are aiming for the 2,000 pay rise and access to a higher pay scale, will now get an extra three months to complete the appraisal process.

And an extra 20m will be allocated from the 2000/1 Standards Fund to help schools free up managers involved in the assessment process during its first year.

The announcements were made by Education Minister Tessa Blackstone at the annual conference of the Secondary Heads Association (SHA) in Harrogate, North Yorkshire.

The deadline for all head teachers to submit the first round of applications had been set for July 31 - and schools with fewer than 40 applicants will still have to meet that.

Encouraging recruits

But now schools with 40 or more applicants will have until the autumn half-term holiday to complete the process.

Baroness Blackstone told the conference that an attractive pay and career structure was needed to encourage "really good recruits" into teaching, particularly as figures showed that about 40% of the profession would retire over the next 15 years.

The government was determined to ensure the assessment process for the introduction of the performance-related pay scheme was manageable and successful.

She said: "The reforms to the teaching profession are a means to an end - young people learning more effectively.

"To do that they need better teaching. That's what the reforms are about.

"The threshold application process will help to focus teachers' development and improve their performance.

"But to make the process work properly, heads and their management teams will have to invest time in it - time which is always in short supply."

Unconvinced

She said the government recognised the problems facing head teachers, and was doing its best to make the application form and guidance as clear as possible.

Baroness Blackstone's announcements were welcomed by SHA's general secretary, John Dunford, who said the extended deadline had been exactly what the union had asked for.

But some head teachers at the conference remained unconvinced.

Eric Dolling, of Clevedon Community School in Somerset, said he had potentially 60 staff wanting to apply for the pay threshold.

"How am I going to manage that for 60 staff, even by the end of October?" he asked.

"What out of my other crucial tasks am I going to give up in order to do this job?"

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09 Feb 00 | UK Education
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