Link teachers’ pay to pupil progress, over half of teachers polled say

The BBC is reporting a new survey that suggests over half of teachers in state schools in England support linking pay to pupils’ progress and results…

The National Foundation for Educational Research polled over 1,000 teachers for the charity Sutton Trust.

Some 55% of primary teachers and 52% of secondary teachers said incremental pay rises should depend at least in part on performance.

But almost half favoured the old system of linking pay to length of service.

From September the government will require schools to link pay progression, for teachers in the first five years of their career, to classroom performance.

Until now, these teachers have had a yearly incremental rise.

The change has contributed to a series of strikes over pay, pensions and workload by the two largest teaching unions…

The survey asked teachers to rate methods of determining performance:

  • 60% backed assessment by more senior staff
  • 54% wanted to be assessed by the head teacher
  • 53% said pay should depend on their current pupils’ progress and results
  • 49% of primary teachers and 44% of secondary teachers said pay rises should be linked to length of service
  • 37% of teachers said their own self-assessment should be included
  • 14% of secondary teachers said pupils’ evaluation of their teachers should also be a factor

A Department for Education spokeswoman said the survey was evidence of “strong support from teachers across England for our plans to let schools pay good teachers more”…

But Christine Blower, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said: “Despite the spin, this research proves again that teachers oppose the government’s new performance-related pay measures…

“Historically movement up the pay scale was linked to seniority and increasing professional skills and competence.

“It is hardly surprising, therefore, that teachers continue to favour the previous system, which is transparently fairer and less open to biased judgements…

More at: Link pay to pupil progress, over half of teachers polled say

Make sure you also look at our guest post: Performance related pay for teachers – 5 steps to ensure a robust policy

Are you surprised by the results of this poll or do you believe there is a growing acceptance of the principle of performance related pay for teachers? Might this apparent approval of the approach drop once it actually starts to get implemented more and the questions turn more to the practicalities and potential inconsistencies? Please tell us what you think in the comments or via Twitter…

Tristram Hunt: Labour will not tear up the new curriculum
Guest post: Performance related pay for teachers – 5 steps to ensure a robust policy
Categories: Employment and Teaching.


  1. CobleyWriter

    SchoolsImprove In that case, over half of teachers polled misunderstand what teaching is really about. Shouldn’t be just about exams but is

  2. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove Whichever pay system is implemented there will be issues, but I suggest that teachers actually have more of a say than MPs

  3. physicoyle

    SchoolsImprove this is not a good way to stop schools taking one step too far in helping their students (and to keep their pay)

  4. berylkingston

    CobleyWriter SchoolsImprove The sad thing is that teachers are no longer taught about the natural learning process.

  5. Bedtonman

    andylutwyche SchoolsImprove only just half, half also prefer the traditional method you can spin it that way too

  6. Bedtonman

    SchoolsImprove or you could say “only half of teachers want their salary linked to exam results” of “half of teachers don’t”

  7. Janet2

    The question on the poll re “progress and results” was badly constructed.  A GCSE Statistics student could have told them that putting TWO choices in one question won’t get a reliable results.  We don’t know from this question how many supported linking pay just to progress, linking pay just to results or linking pay to both.

    The Sutton Trust is a respected charity.  Its “toolkit” is regarded as a useful summary of evidence about classroom policies and interventions.  It should know better than to ask a question which won’t get a definitive answer.

  8. colinsparkbridg

    Bedtonman SchoolsImprove There’s a difference between pay being “determined” by results and pay being “influenced” by them

  9. CobleyWriter

    SchoolsImprove Hard to believe over half only want to get paid if kids reach spurious made up targets.

  10. inwte

    CobleyWriter SchoolsImprove The novelty of not getting a pay rise will soon wear off

  11. Busy Mum

    Nobody in any walk of life should accept performance-related pay until Tony Blair gets it for his role as Middle East Peace Envoy. That way, he would be giving back many of his millions and then teachers along with the rest of the public sector could have a pay rise.

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