Link pay to pupil progress


A survey commissioned by the Sutton Trust on state school teachers views on pay and pay rises has found that over half of teachers in state schools in England support linking pay to pupils' progress and results.

It comes amid a major overhaul by the Government of teachers' salaries, which will see pay linked to performance in the classroom.

Under the reforms, due to come into effect from this autumn, in the first five years of a teachers' career, increases to their salary will be tied to how successful they are at their job, rather than their length of service. The move has been opposed by a number of teaching unions.

This type of performance-related pay is already in place for more experienced teachers.

The latest poll asked teachers which criteria should be used to decide whether their pay is increased.

Just over half (53%) said that the progress and results of pupils should be taken into consideration.

Around three in five (60%) were in favour of being assessed by more senior staff, such as their line manager, while 54% said that they supported assessment of their performance by their headteacher.

Just under half (47%) of those polled said they were in favour of getting pay rises based on their length of service, as long as their progress is satisfactory.

Around one in 10 (10%) said that pupils' evaluation of a teacher's performance should be taken into account, while over a third (37%) suggested that their own assessment of how well they have done should play a part in pay decisions.

Sutton Trust chairman Sir Peter Lampl said: "Effective appraisal and pay policies can help improve the 450,000-strong teaching workforce in England's schools. This new polling shows a positive response by a majority of teachers to performance-related pay, based on senior staff assessment and pupil progress.

"Sutton Trust research has shown evidence from the UK and the US that there is a significant correlation between teacher evaluations and exam results. However, the evidence also suggests that schools should rely on a combination of approaches to gain a fuller picture of teacher effectiveness, and that teachers should be assessed on their cumulative performance over several years rather than on the data from a single year."

The poll, conducted by the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) questioned 1,163 primary and secondary state school teachers in March.

A Department for Education spokeswoman said the survey was evidence of "strong support from teachers across England for our plans to let schools pay good teachers more".

"From this September schools will be able to reward the most effective teachers who get the best out of their pupils with higher pay," she said.

"We already have the best generation of teachers ever, and the changes that we are making to teachers' pay arrangements will further raise the status of the profession and encourage more great people into teaching."

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