Gove’s changes to teachers’ contracts rejected by review body

The Independent is reporting that Michael Gove has suffered a major setback to his plans for sweeping changes to teachers’ contracts to allow them to work longer hours…

The Education Secretary wanted to jettison clauses in their contracts – setting limits on the number of hours and days they worked in a year, giving them time off from the classroom for marking and preparation and restricting the time they had to cover for absent and ill colleagues…

However, the School Teachers Review Body (STRB) – which rules on pay and conditions – rejected his plea on Thursday, arguing they were “reasonable protection for teachers”.

On giving teachers time for marking and preparation, it added: “We have heard from teachers that they find this time extremely valuable.” Mr Gove, in particular, argued that the restrictions on covering for colleagues were “unprofessional”.

The decision was immediately seized upon by teachers’ leaders as a major victory over the Government.

Christine Blower, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said: “The STRB has delivered Michael Gove a huge blow by rebuffing his recommendations for further attacks on teachers’ conditions and pay.

“Michael Gove sought to persuade the STRB that the teachers’ contract undermined professionalism and that the provisions were over-prescriptive; he failed on all counts.”

…Mr Gove did win a concession from the STRB in convincing them they should remove from the contract a list of 21 specific tasks teachers should not do – such as photocopying, putting up displays and exam invigilating. It was put in by Labour just over a decade ago in an attempt to head off industrial action over workload.

This decision, though, angered UNISON, the union which represents classroom assistants, which warned it will lead to job cuts amongst support staff…

The report also paved the way for higher pay for headteachers – giving governors more powers to offer performance related pay and higher salaries for those who take on extra responsibilities, such as becoming executive head for a group or federation of schools…

The Department for Education added that Mr Gove intended to accept all the report’s recommendations.

More at: Gove’s changes to teachers’ contracts rejected by review body

Your reaction to the conclusions delivered by the STRB and their implications for schools? Please share in the comments or via Twitter…

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  1. Janet2

    @MoDi_83 SchoolsImprove  Photocopying isn’t teaching.  I used to resent time spent watching worksheets etc churn out of a machine.  That said, I enjoyed putting up displays and would have continued to do it despite not being required to do so.

  2. Sally37649089

    SchoolsImprove what about HLTA’s just because we don’t have a degree doesn’t mean we can’t teach. But we get paid rubbish

  3. Scarsbrook_T

    SchoolsImprove 21 tasks – lots of us still prob do these anyway and we will keep our TAs and cover supervisors – so no major differences

  4. clarehw76

    SchoolsImprove How long before Gove tries to dispatch the STRB & replace with a pal of his who will agree with what he wants?

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