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EDITIONS
Unions 2000 Sunday, 12 March, 2000, 00:40 GMT
Heads demand pay rise
John Dunford
John Dunford: Teachers' performance pay equals extra work for heads
Alison Stenlake reports from the Secondary Heads Association's annual conference in Harrogate.

A secondary head teachers' leader is demanding a 2,000 pay rise for all head teachers and deputy heads in return for implementing performance-related pay for teachers.

John Dunford, general secretary of the Secondary Heads Association (SHA), says it is unfair that the 2,000 rise available to teachers under the new pay scheme is not being offered to heads and deputies, who will bear the brunt of the pay reform workload.

Speaking to delegates at his union's annual conference in Harrogate, he said he had "told the Secretary of State that 2,000 pay increases for heads and deputies should be both mandatory and fully funded".

He said: "Good, experienced teachers pass through the threshold and increase their salary by 2,000. Funding is rightly available to pay 2,000 extra to senior teachers who join the leadership group.
Baroness Blackstone
Baroness Blackstone has promised more time for appraisals
"But what about the heads and deputies, who will have the major responsibility for implementing the Green Paper proposals?

"Not only do they not receive the extra 2,000 awarded to their senior colleagues, but they have not received a single penny piece, either this year or last, for the extra responsibility and work which these reforms are placing on their shoulders."

In his speech, Mr Dunford expressed a number of grave concerns about implementing the new pay scheme, which were echoed by delegates at an open session on the reforms.

Impact on morale

Head teachers are deeply concerned about the manageability of the scheme, and the effects it could have on morale and relationships in their schools.

On Friday, the first day of conference, Education Minister Baroness Blackstone announced that heads of larger secondary schools in England, where 40 or more staff were aiming for the pay rise, would have an extra three months to complete the appraisal process.

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

But heads still say the timescale for implementing the scheme, which now demands that leaders of smaller schools submit their applications by the end of July, and those of larger schools, by the end of October, is much too tight.

'Credibility'

They are worried that the training given to them to carry out the appraisal process will be insufficient. They are also concerned about how the scheme will be funded, and how the funds will be allocated to schools, after the first two years, for which there is guaranteed funding.

And they say that in many cases, it will be very difficult to judge the influence of an individual teacher on pupils' progress - one of the eight criteria to be used to assess teachers' performance.

On Saturday, Mr Dunford said: "We are deeply concerned that school leaders will not have the tools to do the job and, if it goes wrong in individual cases, relationships in schools will undoubtedly suffer and the scheme will lose its credibility.

'Lack of clarity'

"Available data will rarely, if ever, enable a head to say with certainty the amount of pupil progress which can be ascribed to the work of an individual teacher.

"I am also concerned at the position of heads and teachers in more difficult schools, where every inch of pupil progress is hard won, and where it will be very difficult to demonstrate the same amount of pupil progress as elsewhere."

Delegates who voiced worries during the open session included the head of a new school, who had no evidence of teacher performance against which to assess staff, and was therefore likely to have to delay implementation of the scheme for a year.

Peter Taylor, of St Peter's CE High School, Stoke on Trent, raised a concern over what heads say is the "lack of clarity" of the standards teachers need to achieve to pass through the pay threshold.

Mr Dunford agreed, and responded: "What frightens the living daylights out of me is, what will distinguish the last person on my list that will just get through, and the first person on my list who won't get through."

Peter Lang, of Uxbridge High School, Middlesex, said he was "not against the principles" of the appraisal system, but the timescale was "unmanageable".

See also:

10 Mar 00 | Teachers Pay
10 Mar 00 | Unions 2000
10 Mar 00 | Unions 2000
11 Mar 00 | Unions 2000
11 Mar 00 | Unions 2000
11 Mar 00 | Unions 2000
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