The Telegraph reports:
Ministers want to link pay to performance in the classroom as part of a new drive to improve results and attract the best graduates into the profession.
A cross-party group of MPs today says that a new payment by results system is needed to stop the worst teachers hiding behind a “rigid and unfair” national salary structure.
The report is here. It is an evidence based report, and is backed by all parties in the UK Parliament. This is not a left vs right thing. It is a improving outcomes for kids thing.
In the report published today, the Commons education select committee says staff should be rewarded for “adding the greatest value” to pupils’ education and be given paid sabbaticals to further their skills.
MPs claim the reforms would address fears that poor teachers are having a “very significant” impact on children’s long-term career prospects. The report quotes international research which shows that the worst teachers could cost a class of 20 the equivalent of £250,000 in lost earnings over their career.
Eric Hanushek, an economist at Stanford University in America, has shown that an excellent teacher can cover a year and a half’s material in a single year, whereas a poor one will get only a third as far.
The difference is immense. If a good teacher can teach three times as much as a poor teacher, then there is a case to pay them three times as much.
Teaching unions are strongly opposed to any attempt to alter national pay and conditions. However, the committee’s report says: “No longer should the weakest teachers be able to hide behind a rigid and unfair pay structure.
It is a pity that teacher unions are so wedded to the current structure, rather than seeing the potentially huge benefits performance pay could bring in for the majority of teachers. They are allowing the minority to hold back the majority.
“We believe that performance management systems should support and reward the strongest teachers, as well as make no excuses — or, worse, incentives to remain — for the weaker. Given the profound positive and negative impacts which teachers have on pupil performance, we are concerned that the pay system continues to reward low performers at the same levels as their more successful peers.”
Change is necessary and desirable.