December 1998

GreenPaper–“Teachers - meeting the challenge of change”

This is a brief summary of the main proposals.You need to read the fulldocument (all 72 pages! – don’t rely on the summary)to obtain a flavour of the big stick and small carrot approachto industrial relations embodied in it. The Government has senta copy to every school with an invitation for teachers to commenton a response form.

New Appraisal Scheme

This will be introduced in September 1999.There will be annual appraisal for all teachers using classroomobservation and other “objective evidence”. Teacherswill be set targets including at least one related to pupil performance(payment by results?).

Performance Management

This will be the new mechanism for determiningteachers’ pay and their fitness to teach from September 2000.The appraisal results will be at the core of the system.

As well as determining pay, it will alsobe used to put teachers into Capability Procedures (with the threatof dismissal) if targets are not met. An explicit link is alsomade between this process and the desire of the Government fortargets to be set to reduce sickness absence.

Leadership Posts

A single new pay spine would cover Heads,Deputies, Advanced Skills Teachers, heads of infant and juniordepartments in large primaries, and members of the senior managementteam, heads of major departments and senior pastoral posts insecondary schools.


Teachers in these posts would no longer be covered by the 1265hours and 195 days – i.e. no restrictions on their workinghours. There would be a pay range allocated to each individual- decided by governing body with national and Headteacher guidance.

Pay progression up the range would be byannual performance reviews against individual targets, includingthose relating to pupil performance, drawing on outcomes of annualappraisal.

Classroom Teachers - two pay ranges.

  1. Professional Scale First level.

    The current 9 point scale for unpromoted teachers. Progress upthis would no longer be largely automatic. In future you wouldget 0, 1 or 2 increments each year depending on the outcome ofyour performance review. Conditions apparently as at present.
  2. Professional Scale Second Level.

    You would only reach this by passing the PERFORMANCE THRESHOLD.You would have to apply for a performance assessment, which wouldbe done by the head and checked by an external assessor. It wouldtake into account classroom observation, measures of pupil performance,reports of line managers and “clear evidence of commitmentto professional development” (elsewhere suggested that thisis in your own time at your own expense).

Above the threshold you would “makea much fuller commitment” to raising standards in your school– reference is explicitly made to giving more time whichwould include “extending learning opportunities” (unpaidovertime?), but no details of how much.

Crossing the threshold would give a salaryincrease of “up to 10%, and access to further moves up arange based on performance. There would no longer be access topromoted posts except through this route.

How Many Teachers Would Cross The Threshold?

“Over time, we would expect the majorityto be of a standard which would allow them to cross the thresholdif they wished.” This “if they wished” formulacrops up elsewhere, and suggests that the extra duties not yetannounced might put people off.

Funding:

“at least part of the extra resources”will be found for these posts “in the early years” isall that is said – a heavy hint that crossing the thresholdwill not be that easy.

School Performance Award (The Tony?)

This would be a one-off payment to “rewardexcellence” by a team of staff or whole school. Nationalpot of money available. Performance indicators used to assesseligibility. Allocation of money within the chosen schools byHead & Governors. You would probably have to be photographedgetting the money from Tony.

Fast Track System

– “able” new graduates wouldbe offered the fast track – higher salaries more quicklythan the mugs already in post, but they would have to agree towork for 4-6 weeks a year more.
Is this part of the “us and them” future. More moneymainly to attract new entrants, with them being used to startthe erosion of present working time arrangements even further?
There will also be a fast-track to headship scheme.

Headteachers

– the existing system of performancerelated pay is judged to be unsatisfactory. An external assessorwill be used to set targets under the new proposals. One seventhof heads are judged to be unsatisfactory. Fixed term contractsare suggested for some situations. Salaries of up to £70,000are suggested for heads taking on “difficult schools”.

Qualified Teaching Assistants

– there is quite a heavy emphasis ontaking non-teaching jobs off teachers, and using assistants towork with small groups of pupils. The only indication of how manythere will be is the reference to the announcement already madeof 20,000 over the next few years – one per primary school.

Money

- The £19 billion extra for educationover 3 years that we’re always being told about apparentlyincludes the extra for salaries. As the TES (4:12:98) pointedout, most of this money has already been allocated for other things.

Training

- Less INSET in school time. No formal extensionof school year, but teachers should be prepared to “undertakea significant amount of training outside school time”.Greaterresponsibility for contributing to cost of own training.

Each Governing Body will have to have a“Performance Management Policy”. Ofsted will commentupon its contribution to raising standards.

What is missing?

A pay rise for all.

These proposals are instead of the decent rise for all justifiedby the relative decline in teachers pay of around 25% in the last12 years. They are an attempt to ease the recruitment crisis withoutgiving more money to a lot of existing teachers, as well as tryingto squeeze more work out of many.

Conditions of service

There is recognition that working conditionsare poor and below standard expected by well qualified graduatesin other fields. There are mentions of some capital investmentmoney for improving staff facilities, but no real improvementsto conditions - class size, non-contact time, cover arrangements,workload etc. In fact most teachers will be expected to work morehours.
A lot of the detail will be in additional documents in 1999. Thereare no indicative salary scales or indications as to how the oldand new would be merged.

Conclusion

Please discuss the proposals and send yourcomments to us and to the Government. We will have a detaileddiscussion at the General Meeting in January, including what wethink the National Union should be doing to protect members.

 

Newsletters Archive Home