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Teachers Pay Friday, 9 April, 1999, 10:23 GMT 11:23 UK
Concession on pay reforms
Teachers face payment by results
Teachers face payment by results
By Adrian Dalingwater in Eastbourne

The government has announced changes to its controversial plans to introduce performance-related pay for teachers in England.

Unions 99
Although ministers insist that the central principles of the reforms are not up for negotiation, the implementation of a new system of teacher appraisal will be delayed for a year.

The proposals, outlined in a consultative Green Paper late last year and due to take full effect from September 2000, will see classroom teachers moving up the pay ladder through the new appraisal system.

This will take into account their skills, knowledge and overall performance - including how well their pupils fare in national tests and exams.

Estelle Morris:
Estelle Morris: "No change is not an option"
The School Standards Minister, Estelle Morris, announced the concession on the pay reform timetable at the National Association of Schoolmasters/Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT) conference in Eastbourne.

She said the new appraisal system, which was originally due to start operating later this year and had led to complaints from schools that they would struggle to implement it on time, would be postponed and introduced in full along with the other reforms in September 2000.

The minister added that although the government was prepared to discuss further changes to the way the pay reforms would operate, the central thrust of the performance-related pay proposals would remain.

"It's not about payment by results," insisted Ms Morris. "It's about a pay structure that rewards strong teachers - teachers who have high ambitions for their pupils. No change is not an option, but we are prepared to talk about the management of change."

Strike action

At the weekend, the National Union of Teachers voted to ballot its members on taking strike action in protest at the introduction of performance-related pay. Last week, the third biggest teachers' union, the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, called for industrial action to oppose the new appraisal system.

Although the NASUWT has not ruled out industrial action, its leaders admit privately that such a move could be counter-productive.

The union is not opposed to the principle of performance-related pay, but is calling for a less bureaucratic system of teacher appraisal than that proposed by the government - and the scrapping of the plans to link any part of teachers' salaries to their pupils' results.

Its General Secretary, Nigel de Gruchy, welcomed the concession on the appraisal timetable but said more changes needed to be made. "It's a very limited step forward," he said.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Video
Sue Littlemore reports: "The NASUWT have shown the least hostility"
Audio
Mike Baker reports: "The acid test comes tomorrow"
See also:

08 Apr 99 | Green Paper
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