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Teachers Pay Friday, 20 October, 2000, 12:17 GMT 13:17 UK
What they have to prove
teacher point at pupil's work
Teachers will have to be able to point to pupil progress
This whole aspect of the process was thrown into doubt as a result of a judicial review in the High Court, sought by the National Union of Teachers.

The way the government set the standards against which teachers are judged was ruled illegal by Mr Justice Jackson on 14 July.

The government then consulted formally on the process through the School Teachers Review Body.

This left the standards unchanged, but said they should be reviewed for 2002.

The application form teachers have to fill in has five main sections.

It is the third of these that has most upset the profession.

Initially the government wanted teachers to show proof of pupils' "progress towards national levels of achievement".

In response to complaints, this became: "Please summarise evidence that as a result of your teaching your pupils achieve well relative to their prior attainment, making progress as good or better than [sic] similar pupils nationally.

"This should be shown in marks or grades in any relevant national tests or examinations, or school based assessment for pupils where national tests and examinations are not taken."

Teachers also have to show how they:

  • have a thorough knowledge of the teaching of their subject(s)
  • plan lessons to meet pupils' individual needs
  • use "appropriate strategies" for teaching and classroom management
  • use information about pupils' prior attainment to set targets and monitor progress
  • take responsibility for their own professional development
  • contribute to their school's policies.
There has been a split between the government in London and the National Assembly in Wales about the link between pay and pupil performance.

To the annoyance of many Assembly members in Cardiff, they have devolved powers over performance management and the new appraisal regulations - but not over the criteria which will determine whether teachers cross the threshold.

Appraisal and checks

Head teachers have to assess whether those applying to pass the threshold meet the criteria.

Independent external assessors must then ensure that the standards are "fairly and consistently applied", the government says.

They check on head teachers' decisions by sampling individual applications.

Heads have been sent on training days to introduce them to the new system.

These got off to a bad start. In some places trainers failed to turn up, and in others the standard of training apparently left a lot to be desired.

Some courses had to be re-run as a result.

Links to more Teachers Pay stories are at the foot of the page.


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