Teachers ‘denied pay rises for not volunteering to do school clubs’

The Observer is reporting claims that teachers are being unfairly denied pay rises because they fail to volunteer to run lunchtime clubs, drive the minibus or help with digging the school garden…

Headteachers have been given greater power by education secretary Michael Gove to decide who receives pay increases and why. But some schools are “making it up as they go along”, according to Chris Keates, general secretary of the National Association of Schoolmasters/Union of Women Teachers.

Staff meeting agreed teaching targets are being presented with new objectives linked to the extent to which they make a “wider contribution to school life”. Cases being dealt with by her union include one teacher who was told she would not be moved up the pay scale because she had failed to volunteer to organise and run a school club, and another whose absence was noted when the staff and parents formed a painting team to redecorate a classroom.

“Teachers are being told, ‘Yes, you have met your teaching and learning objective but we don’t think you have made a wider contribution to the school.’ But teachers are not told in advance what that wider contribution needs to be,” said Keates. “We have people penalised for not volunteering to run clubs, maintain the school garden and drive the minibus when the person that normally does it was off sick.”

The union, which will debate the issue at its annual conference next weekend, is expecting a flood of pay claims when the new rules on teachers’ pay progression begin to take effect from September…

Keates said the changes removed any clarity from the process. “I don’t think any reasonable person, even those who are devotees of a hard link between pay and performance, would think it is fair to add criteria on that the teachers did not know were going to be used. It is patently unfair that however hard a teacher works, however well they meet their objectives and improve teaching and learning, they are still denied pay progression on things irrelevant to the quality of teaching in the classroom.”

But headteachers defended the right to make judgments based on a teacher’s “contribution to the whole school”. Russell Hobby, general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, said: “Heads are expected to judge against objectives that are set but also against teacher standards, drawn up by the government. These make it clear that teachers should observe a certain level of professionalism and contribute to the whole school. Heads are perfectly within their rights to refer to those standards.”

…Brian Lightman, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, which represents secondary heads, said the pay changes had been rushed in and senior staff needed more training. “We have been advising headteachers to ensure they have high-quality pay policies that are explicit, clear and transparent about the criteria,” he said…

More at: Teachers ‘denied pay rises for not volunteering to do school clubs’

Seems to be two issues here: lack of clarity/moving the goal posts and the overall principle of including contributions to the whole school as part of the performance criteria. Assuming everyone agrees the approach should be clear and transparent in advance, do you think it is fair to include a component of contribution to the wider school in a teacher’s performance assessment? Please let us know in the comments, via Twitter and by taking part in our poll…

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Categories: Employment and Teaching.


  1. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove Schools’ budgets being cut so HTs will have to find ways of not awarding pay increase. This is why the policy was introduced

  2. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove This policy invites whimsical pay increase judgements depending on how much budget is available/left. Not thought through

  3. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove Many warned that this would happen, but those who look in from the outside (the DfE) insisted that PRP was right and proper.

  4. andylutwyche

    gasman_g SchoolsImprove It’s a good question. Trouble is that PRP is easily abused and automatic increases reward mediocrity. Tough one!

  5. gasman_g

    andylutwyche SchoolsImprove Agree on both counts – training HT’s that administer PRP would be the way forward for me

  6. andylutwyche

    gasman_g SchoolsImprove What you’ll have gathered from previous answer is that I have no idea. Trouble with PRP is it will drive ppl out

  7. andylutwyche

    gasman_g SchoolsImprove Possibly, but it boils down to whether a school can afford rather increase rather than the teacher deserving one

  8. gasman_g

    andylutwyche SchoolsImprove Certainly an element in the process (and a valid one too IMO), but that should be reflected in targets set

  9. gasman_g

    andylutwyche SchoolsImprove Certainly an element in the process (and a valid one too IMO), but that should be reflected in targets set

  10. andylutwyche

    gasman_g SchoolsImprove The targets accepted by schools are based on whether increase is affordable, not on whether they are attainable

  11. Organic_Jane

    andylutwyche gasman_g SchoolsImprove Budget should not be part of PRP process. Reality is underfunding esp. if you retain quality staff.

  12. gasman_g

    andylutwyche SchoolsImprove In a nutshell, yes. No point giving expectation of pay rises that school can’t afford to pay

  13. andylutwyche

    Organic_Jane gasman_g SchoolsImprove Exactly, so though it shouldn’t be a factor, it is. To give someone a rise, someone else must lose

  14. andylutwyche

    gasman_g SchoolsImprove So school loses a good teacher cos can’t afford them?! Or teaching loses a good teacher through disenchantment?!

  15. andylutwyche

    gasman_g SchoolsImprove All policies contradict each other: pay great teachers more but you have less money to do so. Makes no sense

  16. gasman_g

    andylutwyche SchoolsImprove Potentially an end-point. Teachers migrate to schools that manage their budgets better? As other professions

  17. Organic_Jane

    andylutwyche gasman_g SchoolsImprove We all know that but instructions from DfE state budget should “not be a factor”!#IvoryTowerSyndrome

  18. andylutwyche

    gasman_g SchoolsImprove So the best get better and the worst get worse. Genius! Are you in the DfE Graham? I take it you don’t teach

  19. andylutwyche

    Organic_Jane gasman_g SchoolsImprove Once again, correct. I fear that Graham is on the outside looking in. Lack of money the issue

  20. gasman_g

    andylutwyche SchoolsImprove I didn’t say I supported it, but that’s the model that successive governments have followed…

  21. gasman_g

    andylutwyche SchoolsImprove Personally I don’t think free market can be applied to education but it still has to exist as part of economy

  22. gasman_g

    andylutwyche Organic_Jane SchoolsImprove Naïve in the extreme if you believe budget cannot be a factor…. where does money come from?

  23. andylutwyche

    gasman_g SchoolsImprove And you think govts are introducing policy for reasons beyond their own interests? It’s nice you believe that

  24. andylutwyche

    gasman_g SchoolsImprove So you’re not a teacher then since you’ve completely ignored my question. I agree but givt want cake and to eat it

  25. andylutwyche

    gasman_g Organic_Jane SchoolsImprove You can’t get significantly more for less, which is what govt policy alludes to. Something must give

  26. andylutwyche

    gasman_g SchoolsImprove It’s just obvious. Your perception of this issue is gleaned from media/DfE. In reality it’s totally different

  27. Organic_Jane

    gasman_g andylutwyche SchoolsImprove Go tell it to the DfE! Of course it is a factor but that isn’t what the heap of DfE directives say.

  28. gasman_g

    andylutwyche Organic_Jane SchoolsImprove Agreed – but less will be a fact of life (shrinking economy) and teachers must be immune?

  29. gasman_g

    andylutwyche SchoolsImprove Not from the media – I have been involved in education for 10+ years, including chairing outstanding school

  30. Organic_Jane

    andylutwyche gasman_g SchoolsImprove What will ‘give’ is experienced high quality teachers. They are leaving in droves.

  31. andylutwyche

    Organic_Jane gasman_g SchoolsImprove Agreed – DfE and the toxic Ofsted want better provision for less money. You get what you pay for

  32. andylutwyche

    gasman_g Organic_Jane SchoolsImprove Not, teaching shouldn’t be immune but then DfE and Ofsted must adjust expectations.

  33. Sukiajimal

    SchoolsImprove shocking. I wouldn’t be surprised if they used the excuse ‘Not cleaning the staff room kitchen!!’ Teaching=poor!!

  34. andylutwyche

    gasman_g SchoolsImprove If you say so. I think I’ve made my point; you have chosen to ignore it. End of conversation therefore

  35. TeaLadyJune

    andylutwyche Organic_Jane gasman_g SchoolsImprove 1/2 A lot of them are being driven out to save salary costs!

  36. TeaLadyJune

    andylutwyche Organic_Jane gasman_g SchoolsImprove 2/2/ Are qualification changes & so-called ‘increased rigour’ to mask effects of cuts

  37. andylutwyche

    gasman_g Fortunately I really like being patronised. All I’m saying is that if you cut money standards will go down not up. Quite simple

  38. andylutwyche

    TeaLadyJune Organic_Jane gasman_g SchoolsImprove As I’ve said, govt want better provision for less money. It won’t work

  39. andylutwyche

    TeaLadyJune Organic_Jane gasman_g SchoolsImprove It’s like paying for a Skoda and expecting to drive a Mercedes eh Graham?

  40. gasman_g

    andylutwyche So point me to the place where I disagreed with that? Less money is inevitable… challenge is to maintain highest standards

  41. Organic_Jane

    andylutwyche TeaLadyJune gasman_g SchoolsImprove O/S teachers forced out=NQTs=loss of experience=falling standards=forced academisation!

  42. gasman_g

    andylutwyche I can guess, based on others that I have employed – £300 per month (ish)… and they produce fearsomely good graduates…

  43. andylutwyche

    gasman_g And their cost of living is the same as ours? Pay as a stand alone figure is meaningless. How much does stuff cost?

  44. Organic_Jane

    andylutwyche TeaLadyJune gasman_g SchoolsImprove Indeed!On that note I have spreadsheets & reports to work on today ready for next term.

  45. gasman_g

    andylutwyche True, but costs tend towards the lower number in the global economy we created. We see the effect all over our industries

  46. andylutwyche

    Organic_Jane TeaLadyJune gasman_g SchoolsImprove I am popping into school to do some planning! Unpaid of course, but expected. Have fun

  47. gasman_g

    andylutwyche Organic_Jane TeaLadyJune SchoolsImprove I’m sure it’s very much appreciated by students and people like me

  48. andylutwyche

    gasman_g I will count my blessings then and love every minute. The teaching profession is dying though, due to recent DfE policy.

  49. andylutwyche

    gasman_g Organic_Jane TeaLadyJune SchoolsImprove Not according to the media, DfE ministers or Ofsted, but there you go. They know best

  50. Organic_Jane

    andylutwyche TeaLadyJune gasman_g SchoolsImprove Did that last week but had to bring rest of work home due to builders.#WorkLifeBalance

  51. garrodt

    SchoolsImprove Who’d be a Teacher now ? Gove & Tories destroying Unions & Profession.Over paid Heads-under paid Teachers.Maggies won !!

  52. andylutwyche

    Organic_Jane TeaLadyJune gasman_g SchoolsImprove Nice! Don’t forget to put in your timesheet to the finance dept. Oh, hang on…

  53. TeaLadyJune

    andylutwyche Organic_Jane gasman_g SchoolsImprove And to make it happen smoothly: ensure HTs live in fear so they don’t resist – Ofsted.

  54. Organic_Jane

    gasman_g andylutwyche TeaLadyJune SchoolsImprove Thank you. I think most people have no idea of logistics of schools including the DfE!

  55. andylutwyche

    “TeaLadyJune: andylutwyche Organic_Jane gasman_g SchoolsImprove Sorry, i keep forgetting that!” Easily done

  56. Organic_Jane

    TeaLadyJune andylutwyche gasman_g SchoolsImprove Ours os leaving. Feeling sorry for the new one already. 🙁

  57. Organic_Jane

    andylutwyche TeaLadyJune gasman_g SchoolsImprove Yeah exactly…I am the finance dept among many other things!

  58. PrincesBold

    andylutwyche gasman_g Truss has just been to China, you know what the next biggest import from China will be?

  59. andylutwyche

    “PrincesBold: andylutwyche gasman_g Truss has just been to China, you know what the next biggest import from China will be?” Fair point

  60. Organic_Jane

    andylutwyche TeaLadyJune gasman_g SchoolsImprove Aren’t we all just like a balloon seller madly trying to hold onto too many strings?

  61. andylutwyche

    “PrincesBold: andylutwyche gasman_g Different cultures, our kids will have them on long term sick in no time!” Quite

  62. artmadnana

    SchoolsImprove difficult one as I do believe teachers should be involved in activities outside the classroom to help build relationships.

  63. artmadnana

    SchoolsImprove …not fair either when those teachers who do get involved in extra curric activities are not recognised/ rewarded.

  64. PrincesBold

    gasman_g andylutwyche Chinese Teachers, Chinese Discipline. What methods of discipline do you think they use? I can imagine the headlines!

  65. PrincesBold

    gasman_g andylutwyche You do get what you pay for, and that may not always be a legitimate item, #patenttheft

  66. PrincesBold

    gasman_g andylutwyche You do get what you pay for, and that may not always be a legitimate item, #patenttheft

  67. ballater6

    artmadnana SchoolsImprove I agree that after school clubs are valuable but have to wrestle with it being included in PM or PRP

  68. ballater6

    artmadnana SchoolsImprove exactly there is only so much that teachers can do in one day, meetings, CAF, CP, plus after school clubs!

  69. artmadnana

    ballater6 SchoolsImprove been there done that! Know what an 60+ hour week feels like. Also know that some teachers do the minimum.

  70. Suparl

    SchoolsImprove would lawyers, doctors etc be expected to work extra hours for free along with 50+ hours a week? Outrageous!

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