Why Performance Related Pay for Teachers is a Bad Idea (UPDATE)

Ministers Attend Cabinet Meeting At Downing Street


UPDATE: Please see the bottom of the post for Union reactions.

The DfE have posted this news item today:

All schools to get freedom to pay good teachers more

This post is my initial reaction as not all of the details are available as yet.

Does Gove really think that performance related pay will work in education? Insurance sales – yes, education – no.

Here is why:

How does one rate performance? Yes, results are important (and measurable), but being a teacher is about far more than letters. What about the positive influence teachers have on young peoples lives? You cannot measure that. What about the teachers who go the extra mile everyday? You can’t measure that.

I am sure many HoDs will not do this, but certainly a point that should be raised. If your salary is dependent on performance, will some HoDs allocate the ‘best’ students in order to get the best results? Teachers have kids and families to support. Could you blame them for wanting more money?

Value added could be a way of judging performance. However, if you have a class of students who are predicted A*, there is only so much value you can add. If many of your students are predicted C’s and D’s, you have more opportunity to add value.

This tweet from Sam is worth thinking about:

This is spot on and a great point.

Some schools have more outside donors or sponsors, these can provide funds to all sorts of things. This could free up extra money to pay more for staff.

Its common sense that teacher pay should be consistent. Imagine a situation when two teachers in the same department, doing the same job, find that one of them gets paid more. It will not be a good.

Schools are already under pressure about results and some are accused of helping students more than they should. Do you really think performance related pay is going to help this situation?

Think of the financial uncertainty for our future teachers.

Finally, it is a horrible to think of our students being treated like commodities.

I am sorry this may seem like a rant and possibly not brilliantly put together, I just wanted to get it out there.


Teachers’ performance pay ‘does not raise standards’ – Interesting article from the BBC.

Update 2:

NUT Reaction

NASUWT Reaction

ATL Reaction

Is teaching computing an intimidating prospect for an ICT teacher?


When I did my GTP several years ago I did next to no training in computing. As we all know the curriculum was very much ICT based and that was fine with me. The skills I have very much fitted in with the curriculum I had to teach.

Things are now changing. Gove has told teachers that they don’t have to stick to the old curriculum now. Over the past year and a half I have been able to teach my own curriculum anyway, as I have moved to an independent school. But it’s very clear there is a need to teach computing in schools before KS4.

I agree this should happen, and its very exciting. However, it is also quite intimidating. I have spent almost 7 years (including my training) just teaching ICT with very little computing. Where do I go from here? Well, I have already started teaching visual programming using Kodu, I am also in the middle of writing a computer science scheme of work to be delivered next year.

My biggest worry is programming. The reason I didn’t choose programming at university was because I find it very difficult. For me it is like using a new language. I am very much of the opinion programming is not for everyone. Although, I understand it is very important.

I am sure there are other teachers like me who do not program. If the government want programming in schools they are going to need to stump up some money for training courses.

There has to be room for both ICT and Computer Science.

I would also very much like to rebrand ICT, for me it is old fashioned. Perhaps Digital Literacy would be more appropriate?

There are several teachers who I follow on Twitter working on Digital Studies. Is that the rebrand we need? I don’t think there is one answer but would certainly like to  rebrand ICT at my school.

This has been a very cobbled together blog post, so I apologise if it does not seem to very coherent. Over the next few weeks, when I have more time I would like to expand on my thoughts.