Everyone is talking about the move to progressing teachers along the pay scale according to performance rather than time served, which was the previous model. A nice idea which on paper looks to be a reasonable move designed to raise standards, and stop all those lazy stupid teachers who are hell bent on ruining student’s lives from getting pay rises.
Except there aren’t a lot of those types of teachers at all. That’s a myth, put in place by the government, Ofsted and managers with the help of the media in order to make it easier to fulfil their own agendas. One of the things on those agendas is this. See how easy it went down?
The measurement of performance in teaching is already highly corrupt. It is mainly based on lesson observations, which for a start are universally acknowledged to require a standard of time and effort unsustainable in every lesson every day.
The grade descriptors used to assess these performances of teaching are based mostly on subjective opinion, rather than factual evidence. This allows any observer with an agenda to give any grade they like, without the need for any evidence other than, “That’s my professional opinion.” Winning personal favour with management is more important than teaching well.
Management can already manufacture your poor performance causing you to be put on capability proceedings which most likely will cause you to lose your job. They now don’t need to go to all that trouble. They can simply dock your pay, if they feel like it.
In some ways this might potentially be better. Firstly, it might stop the high numbers being artificially put onto capability and bullied out of the profession – for a few reasons:
- Expensive, experienced teachers that get pushed out to save costs will now simply not become expensive in the first place.
- New, cheap NQTs will now no longer be used as cannon fodder, i.e. pushed out year on year and replaced with another newbie on a starter salary. This removes the need to do that.
- If management don’t like your face then you might not be shown the door anymore – you’ll just never move up the pay scale.
There will definitely be a drop in the overall amount spent on teacher’s salaries. Of course, the result will be that the best staff leave teaching in order to find their fortune elsewhere. Don’t kid yourselves that this is any more than a cost saving exercise.
Are you considering leaving teaching because of this move? Have you experienced a ‘you wouldn’t be against this if you were any good’ attitude? Please comment below.
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