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EDITIONS
Teachers Pay Thursday, 20 July, 2000, 16:14 GMT 17:14 UK
No appeal over teachers' pay
Estelle Morris
Estelle Morris blames the NUT for blocking pay rises
The government is not appealing against the High Court ruling which has blocked the introduction of performance-related pay for teachers.

The Department for Education has confirmed that it will instead refer the standards teachers applying for the 2,000 rise will be assessed on to the independent pay review body.

The body will be asked to advise the government on a timetable for the re-submission of its plans to introduce performance pay.

The Schools Standards Minister Estelle Morris said that it would be the autumn term before a date for payments would be known.

She blamed the delay on the National Union of Teachers, which brought the successful legal action.

Teachers
Teachers will have to wait until the autumn to find the new timetable for performance pay
But the union's general secretary, Doug McAvoy, said the decision not to appeal was an "admission by the government of the comprehensive nature of the judgement against it".

The Conservative Party said the government had been forced to admit its handling of the affair had been a "fiasco".

Education spokesman James Clappison said: "We will be seeking to find out how much taxpayer's money has been wasted through the government's incompetence."

The government says it has no intention of dropping plans to link pay to performance, but will now have to undergo a period of consultation which will be established by the pay review body.

"Referral to the School Teachers Review Body is the best way of getting the performance threshold back on track and the rewards in the hands of teachers who deserve better than finding themselves caught in this deeply unhelpful crossfire," said Ms Morris.

Letter to heads

Head teachers, who have carried out the appraisals of staff applying for the performance payments, have also received a letter from Education Secretary, David Blunkett, seeking to clarify what would happen next.


I am sorry that this has happened. I am acting as quickly as I can to resolve the situation

David Blunkett's letter to head teachers
Claiming that the judge had ruled only on procedural matters, rather than on the substance of the new system, Mr Blunkett said "the court did not challenge the new pay structure or the threshold itself".

As such, he told head teachers that the government would press on with its introduction "as quickly as possible".

The deadline of 31 July was no longer applicable, he said, and heads should keep appraisal information until further notice - except those who were leaving their current schools, who have been asked to submit the forms to the performance pay system's administrators.

Any planned assessments should still be carried out, writes Mr Blunkett, in the interest of saving time once the scheme was back on track.

Mr Blunkett tells head teachers in Wales - where the whole process is running on a later schedule - that the deadline of 29 September no longer applies. He promises to send further guidance.

Apologising for the confusion caused, Mr Blunkett told head teachers: "I am sorry that this has happened. I am acting as quickly as I can to resolve the situation and to address the natural concerns of teachers and heads."

See also:

19 Jul 00 | UK Education
19 Jul 00 | Teachers Pay
14 Jul 00 | Teachers Pay
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