Coffee House

Poll shows public support teacher pay changes reviled by unions

24 July 2013

24 July 2013

The coalition’s biggest clash with trade unions so far is fast approaching. From October, the NASUWT and NUT teaching unions are carrying out a series of regional walkouts over the introduction of performance related pay. Unfortunately for the unions, new polling from Populus shows the public are not on their side.

When questioned on how teachers’ pay should be decided, 61 per cent of those polled said they agreed that ‘schools should be able to set the pay of individual teachers based on the quality of their performance as determined by an annual appraisal’, as opposed to 28 per cent who believe teachers should receive the same amount, based on time served and not performance. 40 per cent also stated pay should be based on an annual assessment — similar to other public sector jobs — and not pupils’ exam results.

Subscribe from £1 per week


When asked what is the most important factor in deciding teachers’ pay, only eight per cent plumped for length of service — the current measure. On the upcoming strike action, over two thirds said they did not support the plans to strike — including a third who believed teachers should be banned from striking (like the Police) as they provide an essential public service.

Michael Gove has long campaigned to give schools more control over the employment terms of teachers. From this September, head teachers in England and Wales will have the freedom to abolish automatic pay rises and instead link pay to performance. The Education Secretary could go even further in improving classroom standards: by sacking teachers. As Fraser explained in the Spectator magazine last month, sacking bad teachers can have a tremendous economic effect as well as making a substantial difference to a child’s education.

If Gove triumphs in this battle for control, it will be another giant step forward in bringing more competition and fairness to schools. With the public on his side, this is one union confrontation the Tories will surely have no problem in winning.


More Spectator for less. Subscribe and receive 12 issues delivered for just £12, with full web and app access. Join us.

Show comments
  • vivek sinha

    Thanks for your great information, the contents are quiet interesting.I will be waiting for your next post.
    Trade Car Sales in warrington..,.,.,..,.

  • jonnymarr

    PRP is a cynical, sh*tty policy which has nothing to do with its stated aim ( ‘to reward the best teachers’ ) and everything to do with Gove’s personal ambitions and the desire to pay for the budget deficit by clawing back every penny they can from public sector workers.

    The public at large is generally ignorant of the ( well-documented ) negative impact this will have on teaching.

    Gove, I suspect, doesn’t care because a) it sounds like a good idea and the voting public will swallow it hook, line and sinker, b) it won’t be his problem when the negative effects are fully felt & c) it might give him his “80s miners” opportunity.

    If you’re not aware of the opposing view ( and I don’t blame you because the PR is being won hands-down by the DfE ) you might start by watching:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6XAPnuFjJc
    and then do a little research before assuming PRP in schools will be of benefit to anyone other than the Chancellor / Gove.

  • Peter Stroud

    Surely payment by results is a no brainer. Unions, such as the NUT and the NASUWT will obviously fight the idea tooth and nail. However, with the public on side Gove can and must win.

  • Colonel Mustard

    Since Mr Cameron believes childhood must not be corroded he needs to criminalise those teachers who are active members of the Labour party and who indoctrinate children “to have their minds moulded to the needs and aspirations of” the Fabian Society.

  • Pedant’s Pedant

    I’m shocked to find that, for once, I actually agree with something that telemachus says. He must be having an off day.

    “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it” – fantasy_island.

    “Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts” – Albert Einstein.

    Measuring the wrong things is as bad as not measuring at all, and sometimes worse.

    *Of course* teachers should be appraised on their performance, but Gove’s proposals aren’t the way to do it. We need something much more sophisticated. The qualities that make a good teacher are not easily measurable.

    Neither are the qualities that make good medical staff, and ham-fisted attempts to do that led to the present shambles where hospitals “hit the targets and miss the point”.

    We need to measure the things that matter, not to focus witlessly on the things that are easy to measure.

    Neither does competition solve the problem: if the things that really matter aren’t being properly measured, parents can’t use those non-existent measurements to make rational choices.

    • telemachus

      Excellent post
      In sum targets led to Stafford

      • Tim Reed

        In sum LABOUR targets led to Stafford.

    • fantasy_island

      Bit early for the sherry, isn’t it?

    • andagain

      *Of course* teachers should be appraised on their performance, but Gove’s proposals aren’t the way to do it.

      Gove proposes to let head teachers appraise the performance of the teachers in their schools. Are you trying to say that head teachers cannot be trusted to do that – but you can do it?

      Or that no one should do it?

      Unless you point to an alternative way of doing something saying “it should not be done this way” is a debating trick.

  • telemackus

    Gove is trying to destroy teachers so he can privatise all schools and sell them off to his rich Russian friends. The tories want to indoctrinate our children and must be stopped. Only the labour party must be allowed to indoctrinate the children of England to ensure a 1000 years of socialist rule under the charismatic Ed Balls and Andy Burnham.

    • telemachus

      Please note the spelling of the above poster

      • Nicholas chuzzlewit

        Clearly as witless and stupid as you are.

      • telemackus

        Stop pretending to be me. There is only one telemackus.

        • Noa

          And the animals looked from the men to the pigs and could no longer tell them apart….

          • telemachus

            Time for tele to have a rest

            • Noa

              And so, back to the cryogenic chamber in the sty, to dream of all things stakovian and the uniform production of citizen units.

    • Nicholas chuzzlewit

      Three cheers for Gove if that is the case. Ridding us all of the squalid filth, mediocrity and brutality of socialism.

  • Noa

    Payment based primarily on ability and by results, in any field, is self evidently the best approach.
    Except in the public sector, where wealth is taken by tax and not created and fiefdoms continue to built, not abolished.

    • telemachus

      When you are making cars payment by results work because you can decide on the result you want
      Quantity standards
      Quality standards
      When you try to apply this to teaching you immediately see the problem
      What are you measuring as the result
      Quantity
      If so quantity of what
      Quality
      Who defines
      Are good exam results enough
      What about rounded education
      Do you aggravate the distortions by getting a certain percent over say C grades
      Do you target E grade students
      Do you work on A grades to move up to A*

      • fantasy_island

        If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it teletubby.

        Perhaps we could start by doubling the pay of teachers who are shown not to “mould the minds” of the nations kids and simply teach the syllabus to an acceptable standard.

        • telemachus

          As always there are grains of reason in all ridiculous posts
          Doubling the inadequate pay of teachers is not a bad idea
          However we need our young charges to have their minds moulded to the needs and aspirations of our complex society
          This you cannot measure

          • Nicholas chuzzlewit

            All of your posts are ridiculous. None of them have either a grain of reason or truth. Kindly leave this site permanently and stop stifling and polluting rational debate.

            • telemachus

              If you wish to challenge my reasoned ripost to Noa please do so

              • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                You mean that semi-literate distorted diatribe.

                • telemachus

                  But you cannot refute

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  See below you mindless semi-literate and then bugger off.

              • Noa

                A semi-literate plea for institutionalised mediocrity from one of its obvious beneficiaries.
                The word is ‘riposte’, not ripost. If you can’t even spell it correctly you irretrievably wreck what remains of your risible retort.

                • telemachus

                  As an entrepreneur made good despite dyslexia I decry this post
                  I believe in excellence in education
                  Excellence for all

                • fantasy_island

                  “I believe in excellence in education
                  Excellence for all”

                  So do we, hence the need for change.

                • telemachus

                  Absolutely
                  Investment in an excellent network of state schools delivering egalitarian education

                • fantasy_island

                  Only possible solution is more parental choice, it is now time to let market forces settle this.

                  Once the free market principle revolutionises education we must unleash it on health.

                • manofsuffolk

                  I suspect, of the two definitions of the word egalitarian, you favour the ‘equality for all’ rather than equal rights and opportunities.

                  Until the teaching unions recognise that different abilities necessitate different educational outcomes then we shall continue a decline into mediocrity.

                • Noa

                  ‘Dyslexia’ prevents you using a dictionary or spell check? Sloppy self pitying thinking and no excuse, an arch-typical response from a broken system.,

                • telemachus

                  Spellcheck not good on iPad

                • telemackus

                  Fortunately I type my messages on my iPad with its excellent spellcheck facility.

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  Having a paper round does not constitute being an entrepreneur.

                • telemackus

                  We is not dislexic.

      • Hello

        The quality of an individual’s work is a difficult thing to measure in any field, which is why the metric cannot be left in the hands of politicians. The mechanism is to have a surplus of places, so that it is measured by parent’s choosing where their children are educated, and within individual schools it is measured by whatever methodology that particular school chooses. It’s no different to the car industry, you just want to imagine that it is, that it’s an exception and so must be treated differently.

        • telemachus

          Govian educational social darwinism again
          Problem is you cannot trust the parents
          And 14.2% of parents do not care
          How do you pay the teachers in Tower Hamlets

          • BullDancer

            In Taka – look it up.

          • Noa

            As they’ll be on strike we don’t.

            No work, no pay.

            • telemachus

              If what you say is true
              Ask yourself why

          • Hello

            You can trust the majority of parents, and by their actions, if the system is designed properly, the other schools will either adapt or go bust, and where there is a concentration of untrustworthy parents…well, that is another problem, that must fixed by another means, isn’t it?

      • Nicholas chuzzlewit

        All rubbish. The head teacher should act as a chief executive and must be trusted to decide using his or her own experience and judgement as to which of his or her teachers delivers good value teaching. Those teachers who are deemed to perform well will get rewarded with higher pay, those who perform averagely get nothing and those who perform poorly are fired with no golden handshake. The board of governors should include people with backgrounds in finance and HR in the private sector to ensure the head teacher is making honest assessments. It is called trusting your judgement and must not be distorted by reference to devalued exam results. It is what happens in the private sector and is going to happen in the public sector. No wonder the legions of worthless lazy jobsworth teachers are shaking in their boots.

        • telemachus

          Do you really imagine that schools would hang together if Head Teachers as currently appointed could determine take home pay you are deluded

          • Nicholas chuzzlewit

            Good. We can replace each one that closes with a free school. Nothing like clearing out the rubbish. Now kindly leave this site.

            • telemachus

              More Govian Educational Social Darwinism
              We are concerned with equal education for all not selective elite schools as and when it takes someone’s fancy

              • Noa

                An iniquituous educational philosophy of spurious equality, enacted by public school socialist Antony Crosland and maintained by all successive conservative and labour governments.

                Its net effect has been to destroy the educational and so the wealth creating basis of the UK, deprive the truly able of a ladder to career success and encourage the growth of public schools for the rich, instead of their elimination by a competing grammar school system.

                As in Soviet Russia it is the rich and the nomenclatura who have benefited. Their children go to the few good schools.

                The rest are taught to be mediocre..

                • telemachus

                  The process is not complete
                  It will not be complete until we phase out private schools
                  First withdraw charitable status and then engineer a tax regime to phase in equality

                • Noa

                  And then all will be stupid, except the pigs.

                • telemachus

                  No
                  Silver spoons will no longer beget silver spoons

                • Noa

                  The same fallacious argument, based on jealousy, destroyed our excellent grammar school system, replacing it with the failed communist model that now destroys our people and country.

                • telemachus

                  No no no
                  If there is no suck from the private schools then the best teachers would remain in the egalitarian state system and drag up the rest

                • Noa

                  In reality the few good teachers and students are dragged down by the worst.

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  No you idiot they will move abroad where they can earn more money or teach at private schools which are rich enough to ignore the withdrawal of charitable status. Good teachers do not simply settle for the mediocrity on offer and neither do ambitious parents.

                • fantasy_island

                  Also known as the race to the bottom.

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  Well said that man!

          • HookesLaw

            The rest of industry and business does the whole world over.

            Good teaching comes with experience and all you would see is good teachers getting better pay as they became older and better.
            Younger less good (allright useless politically befuddled socialist darwinians) would not and thus either rot or leave.

      • ButcombeMan

        Cars are good cars, bad cars, reliable or otherwise.

        More complicated with education granted but do not be fooled by producer interests into believing it impossible. Many of your comrades have paid for education, plainly in the belief that they get a better product. Consumer choice always triumphs over socialism,

    • Fergus Pickering

      Ah, but who decides on ability? Should MPs pay be decided on whether the Prime Minister likes them?

      • Noa

        Ability manifests itself in various ways; through being articulate, literate, numerate, creative, practical, imaginative and so on.
        A good teacher will identify these attributes, a good educational system will optimise and harvest them for the mutual benefit of both the individual and the nation.

Close
Can't find your Web ID? Click here