Education Research Shows Teachers Opposed To Performance Related Pay:
A poll of teachers commissioned by the Policy Exchange and based on salary, conditions and pensions revealed differing opinions on Performance-related pay (PRP).
PRP came into force within England’s education in this school year’s term and has been met with harsh criticism. Jonathan Simmons, the head of education at Policy Exchange remains optimistic claiming that, “teachers could easily be won round to the idea …but more needs to be done to explain how the system would work.”
The poll of 1,000 teachers in both England and Wales was published on the eve of strikes by members of both the NUT and NASUWT unions across the East of England, Yorkshire and the Midlands. Unions have stated that they believe the true reasons behind introducing PRP is cutting teacher’s salaries and providing an easier redundancy method.
The aversion to PRP is clear, with only 16% of teachers wanting to work in a school where pay is “more explicitly linked” to their overall performance. Similarly, research carried out by the VoicED education market research panel earlier this year discovered that nearly 4 in 5 teachers (79%) are opposed to paying teachers based on performance – they do not feel it will result in a stronger group of students in terms of employability or readiness for further study.
However, the Policy Exchange survey did discover that the majority of teachers (55%) could be swayed by PRP if “it also resulted in a reduction in their administrative, reporting and bureaucratic workload.” Over half of teachers (54%) said that reporting on their own performance was the least valuable use of their time, and the average time spent carrying out this task is 48 minutes per week.
Christine Blower of the NUT states that, “teachers are more concerned about workload than any apparent benefits of performance-related pay.”
Despite the promised reduction in paperwork, only 13% of teachers are significantly more interested in working in a school with PRP.
VoicED qualitative research reinforced the negative opinion towards PRP as it can alienate those under-performing students or those needing additional help. One teacher asked, “Who will teach the difficult; the dysfunctional and those needing motivation? Who will see the child and not the percentage for performance management?”
Another stated that: “Performance-related pay would be a less flawed idea if it didn’t depend on human individuals whose changing circumstances are out of a teacher’s control. Some measure of how much support a teacher has given pupils would be far better, but how on earth you would do this I don’t know.”
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