Rewarding teachers will encourage excellence in the classroom

Published on Monday, 07 January 2013 16:04
Posted by Scott Buckler

The National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) says rewarding teachers for good performance is a logical way of encouraging excellence in the classroom

Responding to the Secretary of State's acceptance of recommendations by the School Teachers' Review Body (STRB) - which advises the government on teachers' pay - the NAHT said the move away from awarding pay progression based on longevity, to a system linking pay to performance, will ultimately raise teaching quality and reward good and excellent teachers.

However, the NAHT said that to be successful, the right timing, training and funding will be essential.

Russell Hobby, general secretary of the NAHT, said: "The STRB's recommendations need careful managing if they are to be introduced successfully.

"Some of the recommendations will be challenging, a few are 'too far, too soon' and implementation will certainly be demanding. However, we do support the STRB's main thrust that the current pay structure needs to be simplified. We would also reiterate our relief that initial proposals for regional pay have been taken off the agenda and welcome this as acknowledgement that the STRB has listened to the profession on this point. Our one caveat is that there should be no attempts made to resurrect it further down the line.

"We accept that basing pay progression on performance would bring classroom teachers into line with both head teachers, where it already operates, and with most other sectors.

"To get the best from the new system, however, it must be introduced sensitively and contain a strong emphasis on professional development. For teachers to understand that this is a constructive process that works in their interest as well as pupils, it must not be based on crude targets. Nor should it be implemented in a rush without adequate training being given to school leaders and governors who will be monitoring staff progress and sometimes having to make difficult decisions and judgements. We will be issuing our own guidance to members in due course.

"Finally, the right funding must be in place to ensure schools can support rapid progression along the pay scale. Disparities in funding between schools may also threaten fair competition in recruiting good staff – progress towards a fair national funding formula is essential."

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