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EDITIONS
Monday, 26 April, 1999, 14:26 GMT 15:26 UK
Pay promise for deputy heads
estelle morris
Estelle Morris: Recognised "important role" of deputies'
The school standards minister has held out the prospect of a separate pay rise for deputy headteachers.

Speaking at the annual conference of the Secondary Heads Association in Brighton, the School Standards Minister, Estelle Morris, announced that the government was asking the teachers' pay review body to look at "how deputies are rewarded and translate that into the reality of the pay structure" for 2000-2001.

"I recognise that in many secondary schools, deputies play an important role in ensuring high standards and good management," she said.

Last year the government had asked the review body to look at restructuring headteachers' pay, which she said was particularly important in dealing with recruitment difficulties among primary heads in some inner city areas.

Promise to listen

"It has always been our intention to ensure that deputies' pay is examined in the next pay round," she said.

Ms Morris repeated the government's message that performance-related pay for teachers was "not for negotiation". She said teachers threatening strike action when offered substantial pay rises would receive little sympathy from the public.

While the education secretary had been heckled and jeered at the National Union of Teachers annual conference earlier this month, Ms Morris received only a few mutters of disapproval as she sought to mix her uncompromising message with a promise to listen carefully to teachers' worries about pay reform.

"I appreciate your concern, as managers, to ensure that the new arrangements support the effort you have put into improving schools performance," she said.

"What we want is a system for rewarding good teachers that is fair and rigorous with the minimum of bureaucracy."

'Teachers make a difference'

Rejecting the accusation that the government was seeking a simplistic linking of pay to exam results, the minister said the appraisal-based system would "reward the impact teachers have, not measured crudely but based on prior attainment and considering all factors that we know also influence attainment".

Unions 99
"If you accept that teachers make a difference - and what teacher would not - then that difference must be reflected in pupil performance."

Expressing her disappointment so much discussion of the Green Paper on the future of the teaching profession had been limited to the proposals on performance-related pay, the minister called on headteachers to consider the "broader issues of professionalism" in the consultation paper, such as its emphasis on the importance of effective leadership in schools.

"I have never been in a good school that didn't have a good headteacher," she said.

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