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Friday, 21 September, 2001, 17:07 GMT 18:07 UK
Teachers 'against' performance pay
classroom
Performance-related pay has proved controversial
Performance-related pay remains unpopular among teachers and heads in England, research commissioned by the Department for Education has found.

A survey by Mori found head teachers thought the procedure was divisive and lowered teachers' morale.


The threshold process has left teachers feeling demotivated and low in morale

Mori
Even those teachers who received a 2,000 boost (known as the threshold payment) were uneasy about the scheme, with 60% saying they were opposed to it on principle.

One in seven of those who refused to apply for the pay boost said performance-related pay was behind their decision to leave the teaching profession.

Nearly half of those teachers questioned who failed to win the pay award did so on the controversial pupil progress measure.

Form filling

And the report confirmed teachers' claims that they spent between 20 and 22 hours filling in applications for the payments in 2000.

"Head teachers perceive that the threshold process has left teachers feeling demotivated and low in morale," the Mori poll concluded.

General secretary of the National Union of Teachers, Doug McAvoy said: "We have told ministers that this was not going to work in terms of achieving the Government's three targets of recruitment, retention and motivation."

The results were based on responses from 46 head teachers and deputies and 172 teachers in 49 schools in England.

'Improvements'

A spokeswoman for the Department for Education said performance management arrangements were now established in schools and should take less time to implement in future.

"And we have made improvements to the evaluation procedures, training and guidelines to ease the process for future applicants," the spokeswoman said.

"Given the very high level of public investment in the substantial pay rise linked to moving to the upper pay scale - over 400m a year - it is not unreasonable to ask teachers to provide evidence of effectiveness."

They had proved their effectiveness and demonstrated the quality of the teaching force, she added.

'Over-bureaucratic'

But shadow education secretary Damian Green said it was extraordinary that the government had devised a system that was unpopular with teachers - even though they were getting more money from it.

"This over-bureaucratic system is not the best way to reward good teachers and keep them in the classroom.

"This system needs to be reviewed, taking on board the criticisms of teachers," he said.

See also:

13 Sep 01 | UK Education
02 Feb 01 | UK Education
22 Jun 00 | Teachers Pay
12 Sep 00 | UK Education
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