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Wednesday, 13 February, 2002, 15:23 GMT
Heads threaten ballot over pay scheme
classroom
Performance-related pay has proved controversial
Head teachers in England and Wales are threatening to ballot on industrial action over the handling of performance-related pay for class teachers.

They say they will bring the scheme to a "juddering halt" unless the government pumps in more than a billion pounds to fund it.

The two big unions representing head teachers in England and Wales - the Secondary Heads Association (Sha) and the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) have joined together in an attempt to get their way.

The decision is a very unusual one for the head teachers.


Enough is enough

David Hart, NAHT
SHA has never balloted members on industrial action and the NAHT has not done so for 20 years.

They say the performance-related pay scheme is not properly funded and that to pay senior teachers their bonuses this year, heads would have to use money which should be spent on books and equipment for pupils.

The ballots could be held next term and the industrial action could begin in time for the Whitsun break.

Both unions say the action would not affect pupils.

It would involve head teachers not co-operating in the awarding of performance-related pay to senior members of school management teams.

Investment

David Hart, the general secretary of the NAHT said: "We will bring a key part of the government's pay structure, and its belief in performance-related pay, to a juddering halt until it changes its policy.

"I think we are heading for a confrontation which will bring the government up short and make it understand that heads and their senior colleagues, the school leaders of this country, are saying enough is enough.

"We are simply fed up with the government expecting us to deliver policies without investing to make them work."

The head teachers say the government has provided 250m - only half of the money needed to fund the programme for senior teachers, heads and deputy heads over the next two years.

The 2,000 bonuses paid to good classroom teachers is not affected, as the unions say that scheme has been properly funded.

The government argues that the 250m, when coupled with the extra money being spent on education, will cover performance-related pay.

The education secretary Estelle Morris will meet the leaders of the two head teachers' unions on 18 February to discuss the matter, but a government source said it was taking a "very robust view."

See also:

02 Feb 01 | Education
Teachers to get 3.7% pay rise
22 Jun 00 | Teachers Pay
80% of teachers want merit pay
12 Sep 00 | Education
Performance pay 'benefits' teachers
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