Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Teachers' Pay

So a Government Education Minister has finally decided on the radical step of paying good teachers more than bad ones. Needless to say, everybody is up in arms.

Introducing any kind of real-world market forces into Teaching never goes down well. The Unions oppose it because they have to be seen to be opposing things, the hopeless teachers don't like it because they will get paid less and the good teachers say they oppose it in the staffroom, but are secretly delighted. The main objection is that 'it is too difficult'.

Bradley and Jordan from Year 9 have used that excuse in the past to great effect.

I'd go further and pay more to those who teach subjects for which we are short of teachers. The howls of protest would put a werewolf to shame.

Here's an story about a Saudi Arabian man who got a bit carried away with his love for education.

Finally, best of luck to my good pal Jez Bragg who is starting today on a 3000 km run along the Te Araroa Trail in New Zealand. It goes North to South across both islands and you can follow his progress on his blog  here and on Twitter here  (He is hoping to be able to pronounce the name of the route by the end of January)

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

I oppose this move because the secondary school I teach at has 70% children who have arrived in the UK, mostly not speaking English, within the last four years. Many have had disrupted school attendance (ongoing cultural issues) or are quietly traumatised by their experiences.
Nonetheless, they are classiified as having started y7 at a Level 3. It is an impossibility to get them to the expected Level 5 in Y9. I don't want to hear any drivel about how FFT is for guidance only; it is the target set for most schools, and if management has got that wrong, they aren't going to admit it if a payrise is at stake.
I could look a whole lot better as a teacher if I taught at St Leafy Lane. But who is going to take a pay cut and load of grief to work at InnerCity Bargepole? Don't these children deserve good teachers too?

Anonymous said...

Frank, I think the main problem with this proposal is that, by and large, it won't be used to reward good teachers so much as to punish teachers perceived as 'bad'.
Truly bad teachers tend to be very good at covering up for themselves, sucking up to management (or become management themselves), while making life more difficult for the rest of us. A bad teacher that can't do this is-- in my designation-- a hopeless teacher, and is probably being hounded out already (remember, Frank, showing OfSTED you like to push your weaker teachers under the bus is spot-on good practice nowadays).
I simply don't trust the average Headteacher to not use their new powers to reward their toadies, or to induce their budding middle-managers to spend even more hours generating even more pointless paperwork; or to base their assessments purely on flawed and easily-manipulated value-added data and the like.
On the other hand, truly good teachers who don't toe the line, question the all-wise pronouncements of SMT or OfSTED dogma, will find their salaries frozen.
The government is on to a winner here-- as your post shows, most will view this as a 'common sense' proposal, and the Unions as hopelessly out-of-touch. But remember: if there was a chance this new scheme would actually raise teacher salaries significantly, it wouldn't have happened. We'd be able to afford to live in the same neighbourhoods as Proper Middle Class People, and that just wouldn't do!

Brian, follower of Deornoth said...

Two very enlightening replies we have had already. They amount to saying that teachers ought not to be paid on their merits because the profession is incompetent, dishonest and corrupt at every level.

Roger said...

I have long suspected Whitehall has allowed UK education to decline for many years. The reason being 'what's the point, the City makes all the money'. Now the chicken have come home to roost and either the UK accepts continuing decline or a serious reform of education policy needed.

But, and it is a big but, this is going to cost. The repair of poor social conditions, bringing new immigrants up to speed and pushing the really able forward as well as raising the average children will be seriously expensive. Such a policy will need to continue forever not just a five minute wonder.

However as others point out, the entire structure of education has been corrupted by Whitehall and political double-speak. A very big treasure chest and a good supply of chainsaws will be needed, so that's a no then.

Anonymous said...

http://mathcurmudgeon.blogspot.com/2012/10/theres-no-merit-pay-in-realworld.html

Julian said...

Follow the above link fom anon 13.38 and read the sentence:

"Your performance at a private company won't affect your pay"

There speaks someone who has clearly no idea what they are talking about.

Although it won't effect this month's pay packet, when you sit down for your annual review, you will most certainly find that it effects your promotional prospects, bonus, future earnings and whether you are even going to be employed at all!

Teachers have been insulated from all this for too long.

Sutton Tutor said...

I actually worked for an employer (foreign) who attempted to introduce PRP - Performance-related Pay - for the teachers, and it was such a disaster that they abolished it after a couple of years.

The main problem was that, as it the 'bonus' was such a small amount - two or three percent - it wasn't worth the effort to fill in the mountain of paperwork and jump throught the various hoops to get it. I found that doing a couple of extra classes a week covered the 'bonus' adequately, and I was relieved from the angst of worrying whether I was doing well enough to deserve it. So the system actually led to LESS effective teaching!

The other main problems were (a) the 'instruments' used to measure performance were either easy to manipulate or plain daft, and (b) as mentioned above, favoritism was rampant anyway, so why bother?

All in all, it looks like another 'Poill Tax moment' for the Tories - hurrah!!!

Anonymous said...

It's a good idea, but is bound to be poorly implemented. My experience of PRP as a senior staff member in a former Polytechnic is that one could not go on 'exceeding expectations' year on year, and even 'meeting expectations' became increasingly difficult if one's line manager didn't like you and withdrew support. The more 'lefty' the manager, the more autocratic and unfair he/she would be. These systems make good people bad, and bad people worse.

David said...

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