Gove confirms performance-related pay for teachers

Education minister Michael Gove has confirmed the implementation of performance-related pay (PRP) for teachers.

This follows recommendations from the School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB), which were published in February 2012 and called on the government to link teachers’ pay more closely to their performance.

In May 2012, Gove submitted evidence to the STRB, which included a number of possible options for reform, such as:

  • Varying levels of prescription in national pay arrangements.
  • Setting a minimum and/or maximum pay level.
  • Exploring the possibility of having local pay zones.

From September, a new national pay framework for teachers will come into effect. It will:

  • End pay increases based on length of service. Currently, virtually all full-time classroom teachers on the main pay scale automatically progress to the next pay point.
  • Link all teachers’ pay progression to performance, based on annual appraisals, which is already the case for some teachers who are on a higher pay scale.
  • Abolish mandatory pay points within the pay scales for classroom teachers to give schools greater freedom on how much teachers are paid. They would remain in place for reference only in the main pay scale to guide career expectations for new teachers entering the profession.
  • Retain the higher pay bands for London and fringe areas.

Gove said: “These recommendations will make teaching a more attractive career and a more rewarding job. They will give schools greater flexibility to respond to specific conditions and reward their best teachers.

“It is vital that teachers can be paid more without having to leave the classroom. This will be particularly important to schools in the most disadvantaged areas, because it will empower them to attract and recruit the best teachers.”

But Christine Blower, general secretary at the National Union of Teachers (NUT), said: “Teachers will be dismayed that Michael Gove is pressing ahead with his plans to dismantle the national teacher pay structure.

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“Performance-related pay (PRP) is fundamentally inappropriate for teaching, where educational outcomes are based on teamwork and the cumulative contribution of a number of teachers.

“The national pay structure provides a coherent framework for career progression and is essential to attract graduates into the profession. To get rid of it will certainly have an impact on recruitment and retention.”