Nick Clegg: Pay teachers more to work in underperforming areas

The TES is reporting that former deputy prime minister Nick Clegg has suggested paying teachers more to work in poorly-performing areas of the country could help end regional inequality in education.

The ex-Liberal Democrat leader, who is chairing a cross-party commission aimed at addressing inequality in the education system in England and Wales, said that pay incentives could “play a role” in encouraging the best teachers to work in underperforming regions.

At the launch of the new commission, set up by the Social Mobility Foundation (SMF) think-tank, Mr Clegg said: “One challenge that has become clear is how to get high-quality teachers into struggling schools in remote or coastal areas.

“Teach First has had great success bringing talented young teachers into deprived inner-city areas in London, but it is one thing to attract bright people to live in one of the world’s great cities; getting them to move to more remote parts of the country is quite another thing. So we need fresh ideas about how to attract and retain high-quality teachers in these places.”

…Mr Clegg added at the launch that incentives for teachers are “not entirely driven by pay, but pay may well play a role in it”, but he conceded that it was an “incredibly sensitive issue”.

He said: “It may play a role in trying to get some of the brightest teachers, the best teachers into those schools where they are presently not putting themselves forward for employment…”

More at: Pay teachers working in underperforming areas more, says Nick Clegg


Read or download the Social Market Foundation report in full:

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It may be a sensitive issue, but with with regional inequality growing is it a potential solution that needs to be taken seriously now?

Please let us know what you think in the comments or via Twitter…


Some areas find it much harder to recruit teachers so should we introduce different pay rates?

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Today's poll: The number of GCSE awards is down 17% - cause for concern?
Tristram Hunt: Inequality is a problem schools alone can’t fix
Categories: Policy and Teaching.


  1. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove There’s no more money Nick, plus many want quality of life rather than fat pockets. Worth a try I suppose but it won’t work

  2. thatboycanteach

    SchoolsImprove I agree with Nick. But then I always did. Shame the coalition meant they got tarred with the Tory brush.

  3. Pity Clegg is peddling myth about Teach First.  It was the London Challenge combined with a large number of hard-working, aspirational children of immigrants which contributed to London’s success.  Teach First provided only a small proportion to London’s teaching force yet the rhetoric is that TF was largely responsible for London’s turnaround.

  4. Could the risk of working in a challenging school where it’s more likely to have results below the national average (aka ‘underperforming’), to be judged RI or Inadequate, to be targeted by an academy chain (with the possibility of being downsized) be the real reason teachers are unwilling to work in these schools?

  5. VictoriaJaquiss

    We worked in these schools; we were given Social Priority Allowance, it was hard work, but a considerable number of us stayed on at Foxwood, developing relationships with the families of Seacroft and Gipton. We were a combination of academic teacher and social worker. We had a Home Liason Officer; we gently eased students back into lessons after exclusion, bereavement and the like; we taught Parentcraft; we prepared our charges for the world of work, and also considered how to survive periods of unemployment.
    Students showing academic potential were mentored, supported etc, but with the knowledge that home circumstances could scupper dreams at any point. We attended court; we attended funerals.
    But enter league tables and Ofsted into our lives and the school, already suffering dropping attendance by rumour ,was now publicly humiliated – a national newspaper proclaimed us the worst in the country. When the council came to close us down and find us other jobs, their representative told us not to worry about the stigma of working at Foxwood. Stigma! We were snapped up everywhere across Leeds. Already many of our staff had gone on to be headteachers. (I personally received the FRSA for work first devised at Foxwood, and became published author on educational practice.)
    So, Nick , Tristram, whoever, please don’t bother coming up with your simplistic little schemes to get teachers back into areas of deprivation. We were there already, until education secretaries of every political hue, mistook poverty for poor teaching and penalised those who should have celebrated. Friends of mine have prestigious teaching and advisory posts abroad rather than stick around this god-forsaken educational landscape where the best are ignored and unqualified business people get rich on the backs of us all still trying to make a difference.

  6. DrDD

    Pay is not the issue. Constantly undermining the excellent work staff do in these schools is the real problem. When working incredibly hard with difficult student only to be told you are RI or worse because you fall below National averages is not productive for staff, schools, students or education. Have you ever seen a government elected with 50% of the votes?

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