Teachers back extra pay for better performance

3 May 12
Three-quarters of teachers would welcome performance-related pay, according to a survey by educational charity the Sutton Trust.

By Richard Johnstone | 4 May 2012

Three-quarters of teachers would welcome performance-related pay, according to a survey by educational charity the Sutton Trust.

Over half of teachers (52%) agreed that schools should be able to withhold teachers’ annual salary increases if they had performed poorly in the year. Currently, the vast majority of teachers receive automatic pay increments annually.

Just under a quarter of those surveyed – 23% – said that only teachers judged to have performed well should receive extra pay. Almost four in ten ‘senior leaders’ responding to the poll, such as head teachers, favoured this harsher option.

About two-thirds of the respondents believed that senior staff should judge their performance and almost half thought that pupil progress and attainment should play a role.

The survey results follow a report from the Commons education select committee earlier this week, which recommended that good teachers should be paid more.

The Sutton Trust is developing proposals on how to best evaluate teacher performance. Improving teacher effectiveness is ‘the most important thing we can do for our children’, trust chair Sir Peter Lampl said.

He added: ‘It is right that teachers’ pay should be related to their performance, and they should also be required to undertake professional development if they are not performing at an effective level.

‘We need to strike the right balance between attempting to improve the performance of poorly performing teachers through professional development and our responsibility to safeguard children's right to be taught effectively.’

The survey also found continuing opposition to the government’s school reforms.

Two-thirds of teachers are against both the government’s policy of encouraging the creation of free schools and the conversion of schools to academies. Almost half (46%) of teachers are against schools applying to become academies even when their governing bodies have voted to do so.

Last year’s survey results found that less than one in ten teachers thought the government’s school reforms would help disadvantaged pupils. Lampl said that a significant majority ‘remain unconvinced’ by the changes.

Almost 1,700 teachers from more than 1,200 schools took part in the annual survey, Teachers Voice, which is carried out for the trust by the National Foundation for Educational Research.

Its results come as the Department for Education awaits recommendations from the School Teachers’ Review Body on how to introduce pay flexibility. This is part of a wider move to introduce regional pay into the public sector, as requested by Chancellor George Osborne in last year’s Autumn Statement. All four public sector pay review bodies are due to report their findings on possible reforms in July.


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