Writing in the TES, ATL general secretary Mary Bousted says it is just not the case than good teaching can be easily observed, measured and rewarded.
Education ministers argue that performance-related pay (PRP) rewards good teachers, makes the profession more attractive to good-quality graduates and raises standards of student achievement. There is one major flaw with this argument: it is not true.
There is no evidence, from any education system in the world, that performance-based pay improves educational standards.
There is evidence, however, that performance-based pay narrows the school curriculum because assessment of teacher performance is overly dominated by pupil performance in timed written tests. This results in a rote-learning approach to education – because if teachers’ jobs and pay rely on pupil test performance, they will, unsurprisingly, do all they can to prepare pupils for the tests…
Even shakier is the politicians’ proposition that PRP rewards good teachers and keeps them in the profession, because it is simply not the case that good teaching is something that can be easily observed and measured. The truth is that teaching does not lend itself easily to categorical statements of “good” and “bad”…
How teacher quality is measured is not only a matter of justice, it is also an issue that is driving good teachers out of the profession.
Performance-related pay is in special measures.
If Mary Bousted is right about this, isn’t it potentially a bit depressing for teachers who want to excel and be seen to excel in their profession?
If good teaching cannot be measured, how does anyone know, or demonstrate, they are good at it? Or, perhaps more importantly, that they are getting better at it?
For those driven by an inner sense of satisfaction that may be fine, but are we saying there is no way of getting any external reference of whether you are a good teacher or not and that, therefore, the only way to progress is in terms of leadership roles?
Please tell us what you think in the comments or via Twitter…
Don’t forget you can sign up to receive our daily email bulletin every morning (around 7 am) with all the latest schools news stories. Your details will never be given to anyone else and you can unsubscribe at any stage. Just follow this link