NAHT has re-stated its support for linking teachers’ progression to performance when the government’s pay review body released its evidence on teachers’ salaries on Wednesday 16 May.
However, the NAHT stresses that performance-related progression should be seen as a way of raising the status of teachers and boosting teaching standards, rather than providing a blunt instrument to punish and penalise staff who choose to work with more challenging pupils.
The NAHT and joint union response is available here (you must be logged in to view this page).
Russell Hobby, general secretary of the NAHT, said: “In our evidence to STRB (the School Teachers’ Review Body), the NAHT proposed a number of changes to teachers' and leaders' pay and conditions - in order to strengthen schools' ability to raise standards through the quality of teaching while preserving a national pay framework.
“We believe that progression through grades should be more strongly connected to performance - although not to crude data outcomes. Good teachers ought to be able to progress more quickly on the basis of a rounded and objective judgement of their performance.
“We believe that length of service alone should not determine pay scales. Therefore, what is known in the profession as the ‘threshold’ assessment, which gives teachers access to higher salary bands when they reach a certain stage in their career, should be abolished and the main pay scale extended to replace it - or even exceed it. While experience is valuable, of course, teachers do not become outstanding only at the end of their career.
“We believe that schools should be able to offer business managers and bursars a position on the leadership pay spine to reflect the centrality of their role in schools.
“We also reject local or 'market-facing' pay as entirely incompatible with the government's agenda for narrowing the gap. It will force schools in our most deprived communities to pay staff less.
“We call for greater flexibility in the award of management allowances to recognise temporary posts and projects in schools.
“We restate our commitment to the principles of the workforce agreement, as being the foundation of good management practice, but call for greater flexibility in the implementation of those principles.
“We also recognise that over time, the STPCD (the School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions Document) has become opaque and unwieldy. This means that many schools are unclear on the flexibilities they already have. It is time to start again.
“There is an increasing focus on performance management in schools, and rightly so. Performance management needn't be punitive; indeed it will fail if it is done in that way. However we neglect our duty to pupils and to all staff if we don't differentiate between high and low performers. The first response to performance concerns must always be support, but those concerns can not be ignored. And, yes, the same principles apply to leaders and managers as to teachers.
“We also recognise that performance management is as much about culture and management skill, as it is about processes and policies. Nevertheless, the right policies send signals about what is expected and what is acceptable. For this reason, change is necessary.”
The NAHT and joint union response is available here.
Page Published: 16/05/2012