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Success in the classroom will decide teachers’ pay

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: July 14, 2014

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UNION bosses have called on schools in South Derbyshire to give teachers the best deal possible ahead of upcoming changes to pay policy.

From September, new laws will mean that teachers in the county will no longer receive automatic pay rises.

Whether any increase does come their way will be judged on how ‘successful’ they have performed.

But the National Union of Teachers (NUT) has slammed the model, believing it to be unfair and divisive.

Certain elements of the new system have been forced upon education chiefs in Derbyshire by the Government, though the county council has indicated it will not allow its schools to determine starting salaries for new teachers for fear of driving away the best candidates.

Schools will be given a say on what teachers are paid, though increases will be based on success across the board at local authority-run sites.

The NUT is also calling on head teachers to ensure appraisal systems are fair and that teachers are set realistic targets.

Deborah Turner, the NUT’s Derbyshire secretary, said: “It is a profession which is not paid particularly well compared to other graduates.

“The NUT feels that progression on the pay scale ought to be a given. Performance-related pay is not something that increases output - it is divisive.”

Mrs Turner said she would be working with schools to try and ensure teachers get the best deal.

She believes teachers’ pay should not be determined by how well children they teach are performing.

She said: “We are trying to consult with schools to ensure the appraisal system is fair and that is it a robust and rigorous system.

“Schools need to ensure teachers are paid fairly for the job they do. Some will be refused pay progression, hopefully not many.

“The NUT feels that numerical targets should not be used, where a percentage of pupils have to attain a particular grade - we are fundamentally opposed to that.

“Pupils’ performance is not just based on what happens in the classroom, social influences and background can also play a part.”

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