Performance Related Pay - a good thing right?

(86 Posts)

especially the bit about being able to keep the better teachers in the classroom.

Schooldidi Tue 15-Jan-13 23:19:51

It's great - until you're given the 'sink class' to keep them out of everyone's hair. If one class has all the badly behaved, unmotivated, truanting, etc children in a yeargroup then whichever teacher has them is going to be paid less, even though they have an incredibly difficult job and are probably doing it very well if those pupils achieve a grade.

What's to stop people cheating as well? If my pay is going to be allocated based on middle set year 8 making the progress they are 'expected' to them why wouldn't I add a few extra marks here and there so their end of year level looks better than it actually is, especially if I'm passing them to someone else the following year and don't have to back up their year 8 results with GCSE grades down the line. I'm not saying I would do this, but there will be people out there who might.

It's not a good idea to base teachers' pay on something that they grade themselves. Already I know some primary teachers complain that the previous teacher has inflated the grades, so just imagine what would ahppen if they were given performance realted pay.

Why would the teacher with the most difficult class get less pay? Surely they will need to be 'high performing' first in order to be able to teach such a class?

I guess it depends how performance is defined then!?

blackcoffee Tue 15-Jan-13 23:25:58

and as for obs - judgements are not always as impartial or indeed informed as might be wished

blackcoffee Tue 15-Jan-13 23:28:37

defined, yes - and measured
measurement needs to be objective and it's difficult to measure precisely because yes, successful teaching does have common elements, but it can look very different depending on age group, personality etc

mnistooaddictive Tue 15-Jan-13 23:34:10

Teaching is not a production line. There are far too many influences out of the control of teachers. Children from troubled backgrounds where they are doing well to be in school every day but never do homework will never do as well as children with supportive parents who pay for tutors at the first sign if difficulty. How do you factor that in? What about the class where one of them dies a few weeks before the final exam, leaving the others grief stricken? The child whose parents who split up the week before their exam? And so on. Every single class has issues like this that are sometimes but even known about by the school. How do you factor all that in? I have taken over classes that had a poor teacher the year before and I have had to fill in those gaps before moving on. There is no fair way to do this. The class where I spent a lot of time dealing with social issues such as drugs and sex that were vital as life skills but reduced my ability to teach my subject.
On a large scale statistics even out but on s glass by class basis, the samples are too small and all these things are significant. I want my child to be treated as an individual person not a brick on a conveyor belt. V

BackforGood Tue 15-Jan-13 23:38:03

Only if you could find a fair way of measuring the performance, because, of course I think most ordinary people rules out M.Gove of course understand that all not children are exactly the same, however supportive or not their parents are, however high an IQ they've got, however educated their parents are, however many of them get tutored outside school as well, however many of them go home to chaotic home life, and come to school late, with no breakfast or sometimes evening meal the night before, and some children were up until 2am watching some digital channel unsupervised because no-one cared enough to tuck them up in bed in the early evening with a nice story, and remembering that some children have SENs with create a real difficulty with learning, and some children are newly arrived in the country and not only don't have any English, but some have been traumatised by their past, oh, I could go on for hours.... but I guess you see it might be difficult to give their teacher all the credit or blame for their progress or lack thereof.

BackforGood Tue 15-Jan-13 23:38:39

x-posted with MN

Arisbottle Tue 15-Jan-13 23:40:47

I can see the pitfalls but generally don't have a huge issue with it. To be honest we all know who the great teachers are in our schools, who are the OK ones and who are just not that good. As others have said it is difficult to quantify that exactly.

Redbindy Tue 15-Jan-13 23:46:17

Strikes me as a good idea. This sort of arrangement has applied in the private sector for years. I would expect the poor teachers to get their excuses in early though.

mnistooaddictive Tue 15-Jan-13 23:58:40

Redbindy- are you in a people facing profession?

kickassangel Wed 16-Jan-13 00:22:30

I've been the teacher whose job it was to analyse the data from exams to see which teachers were 'good' or 'bad'. One of our 'best' teachers got great grades, but had terrible relationships with students and staff. A really popular teacher had horrific grades - but the kids all enjoyed the subject and were motivated, they just didn't get round to writing stuff down often enough, too busy discussing it. The special needs team never even got as far as giving out grades - how do you deal with kids that can't even write their own name? One teacher never had a single discipline problem, but the kids were bored rigid.

There are just too many variables, and the stats. of class by class aren't a big enough sample size to really be meaningful. Value added doesn't work as a measure either cos those schools in 'better' areas actually don't perform as well.

Having spent a decade looking at stats and trying to work out who was good/bad etc there is only one fact I would rely on. There is no fair and measurable way of defining 'good' teachers. There are too many variables and too many aspects of teaching are qualitative rather than quantitative elements.

My last school, promotions relied mainly upon having a penis. My current school, (private) we get paid on number of years service and how many hours per week we teach classes for.

LadyWidmerpool Wed 16-Jan-13 00:26:42

Awful idea.

SE13Mummy Wed 16-Jan-13 00:27:24

Yes to keeping the better teachers in the classroom.
No to using the academic performance of children to determine how much to pay teachers.

I am offering...

- 26 extremely lively, friendly KS2 children
- 24 of them qualify for and receive free school meals
- 4 of them are on the child protection register
- another 2 have been on it in recent months
- 2 children spend part of the week being taught at the local pupil referral unit
- 1 of the class came to England in October unable to speak English
- another 1 joined the school 1 year ago with no English
- 1 child is losing their vision due to a degenerative condition
- the mother of 1 child is dying of cancer
- the older brother of 1 child was stabbed to death 8 months ago
- 3 children regularly arrive at school 20 minutes late
- 5 children have an attendance rate of less than 90%
- 6 children's reading is at the level expected of a child in Y1
- 5 children's reading is at the level expected of a child in Y5
- A couple of the class have fathers in prisons too far away to visit
- most of the class live in overcrowded housing
- at the end of last year, the class average point scores for reading, writing and maths were further away from the nationally expected level than any other year group
- last year the class was described as the 'worst in the school' - by staff, the class and their parents

Anyone want to have their salary determined by whether or not you manage to get these children to perform at a nationally expected academic level? I don't!

FWIW, I love teaching them and chose to work at a school with a challenging intake. I haven't been on the main pay scale for quite some time so haven't been getting annual pay increases but the idea that teachers with the most challenging classes may be pressured to teaching to the test/assessment task depresses me sad.

purits Wed 16-Jan-13 10:47:18

This doesn't seem logical.

Ever since the introduction of the standardisation and measurement of pupils' attainment - national curriculum, league tables, etc - the results have shot up. We have had 20+ years of "our best year yet".

It stands to reason that if you start measuring teachers' performance and you should get the same thing. What are you all so worried about?

I'm not sure I understand then. I thought the pay was linked to the teachers performance, not children's. Am I wrong?

Xenia Wed 16-Jan-13 11:21:39

I don';t think we need it. I do however think it should be easier to sack useless teachers. Also if we gave no pay when off sick except SSP like most of the private sector in industry that might help keep people in the classroom (someone will now tell me state school teachers are not paid when off sick and I will skulk away...)

I always thought that teachers just never took time off for being sick because if they did their work load doubled in sorting out and marking the cover work!?

Xenia Wed 16-Jan-13 12:12:54

I was talking to one who wanted to start a new business, had some kind of "breakdown" (okay let us try to be sympathetic)... off sick for about 6 months whilst getting his website business going. I did not say - you awful skiver you, grow a tougher skin and learn to deal with stress like the rest of us, what a wimp but that is what I thought. It is my money being ripped off in that scenario, my taxes. Were he not paid when off sick and only on SSP these people would be rushing back to work.

mnistooaddictive Wed 16-Jan-13 12:57:58

Starlight- how do you measure a teachers performance without it depending on the students performance? Also whilst a few teachers do completely take the mickey about sick pay, most teachers are in when they really should be in ill in bed.

Well you do measure the performance of students of course, but the success criteria would have to be different for every teacher according to the challenges of their job. Just like in any other industry.

Is that not what is being proposed?

mnistooaddictive Wed 16-Jan-13 14:31:25

But other industries measurable units are not children with all the problems stated above. If anyone can identify success criteria that doesn't
depend on students outcome then we may listen but as stated above it is impossible.

scaevola Wed 16-Jan-13 14:34:45

I find teachers usually know which of their colleagues are competent and conscientious (whatever class is put in front of them), which (few) are exceptionally good, and which (few) are jaded old creatures who shouldn't be trusted to teach a bear to shit in the woods.

The snag is how you turn that into an actual set of performance matrices.

Of course it isn't impossible. All those things can be quantified.

The biggest problem in education IMO is lack of accountability and measurable outcomes. I don't disagree that attainment levels alone are pretty crude and paint a poor picture but progress data is rarely used to inform planning, rather treated as an 'in retrospect' admin exercise and resented.

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