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To not understand why teachers should object to performance related pay?

(719 Posts)
Dolcelatte Fri 18-Oct-13 09:08:27

After all, it happens in most other sectors, so why should teachers be any different. I am not trying to be controversial and there will undoubtedly be others with a better understanding of the issues. However, I don't understand the objections in principle. Why shouldn't remuneration be dependent upon performance?

ontheotherside Fri 18-Oct-13 09:14:42

How do you define 'success' in education? If you can't do that fairly, you can't connect pay to performance. You're dealing with complex relationships between human beings - you can't measure the success of education just by looking at data, and that's how performance would be assessed. A child who leaves education literate and numerate with few qualifications, but sensible, kind and civilised is a 'success' but there's no way to measure that.

Do you think that medical professionals should have performance related pay too?

Doobiedoobedoobie Fri 18-Oct-13 09:14:57

Because then who would teach the pupils who are unlikely to perform well? confused

Felyne Fri 18-Oct-13 09:15:02

I suppose because when your job is as intangible as teaching is, how do you judge 'performance' to reward? There are so many other variables to consider with teaching, whether or not the kids do 'well' (by which I mean reaching the criteria by which the teacher would be rewarded), it's to do with their personalities, abilities, home life, parental involvement etc etc.
With other jobs, whether or not you reach your targets for a bonus or whatever is largely down to your own efforts rather than relying so much on other people.
I have to clarify that neither of my kids have started school yet so I have no experience to base my opinion on, but I see how performance related pay for teachers sounds like a reasonable proposition but when you get down to it I don't think it could ever be fair.

Damnautocorrect Fri 18-Oct-13 09:15:06

Child a, is very good at maths will achieves a b he'd work hard he would get an a*.
Unfortunately teacher is caught up trying to coach child b who can just scrape by with a d, but the teacher has to try and get them to a c to reach their bonus.
Child c is left alone and given up as a bad job because teachers trying with child B

NotYoMomma Fri 18-Oct-13 09:15:12

how do you measure performance? do you measure success as 'that teacher's students got 21 A* pupils

or 'that teacher worked so hard with that pupil who had been through so much hardship and nearly got excluded that they finished school and got 5 gcse c grades though?

as a non teacher and basing my question on what I saw on educating Yorkshire last night?

cory Fri 18-Oct-13 09:17:24

Because for teachers performance can only be measured through the achievements of the children they teach. And that is likely to make schools less likely to want to deal with children who don't look well in statistics: children with behavioural problems, children with SEN, children with difficulty home circumstances or simply children who miss a lot of school through health issues.

As the parent of such a child (health issues) I know how easy it is even for a non-selective state school to put pressure on the family of such a child to make them feel unwelcome and consider moving their child- thus improving the school's performance and the teacher's likelihood of a pay rise.

My daughter was nearly driven to a breakdown in the cause of the school's quest for an Outstanding. Making individual teachers' pay directly dependent on whether someone like her was at school or ill in bed could only exacerbate this situation.

As an academic I am judged on performance. But that is for research and bringing in research money: they are things I have control over. And as student satisfaction is one criterion on which my department is judged, I am positively encouraged to support students who may be struggling.

SilverApples Fri 18-Oct-13 09:17:40

Exactly what others have said about the variable quality of the materials you are working with.
What would be the criteria you would use, would it be standardised nationally?

Damnautocorrect Fri 18-Oct-13 09:18:36

Each child's different, and each teachers different. It's matching the right child with the right teacher.
All of us have different skill sets.
There's so many variables e.g school moves, involved parents, poor previous school, language problems, special needs. It's just not possible to 'judge' fairly.
What you need is good quality teaching for all, not spikes of good and bad.

Sirzy Fri 18-Oct-13 09:18:47

The best teacher at my secondary school was an English teacher who really inspired children and made them want to learn. He also taught mainly 'bottom set' children. The children he taught probably exceeded expectations but if you went of "a-c grades" then he would be labelled a poor teacher.

To try to quantify a teachers performance is very difficult

wherearemysocka Fri 18-Oct-13 09:18:56

Because we've been round the block enough to know it's a back door way of paying us less.

hardboiledpossum Fri 18-Oct-13 09:22:15

Who is going to teach in the school in the middle of the London estate?

IHeartKingThistle Fri 18-Oct-13 09:27:51

Because it is absolutely ripe for corruption, especially at secondary. My old Head of Department used to take all the top sets herself hmm, then halfway through the GCSE course would take the highest performers out of my class and switch them for the students in her class who were underperforming by the most. Not the ones who were least able, mind, or the ones who could benefit from moving down a set - no, the ones whose target grade and actual performance were furthest apart. So on paper, every year, she looked awesome and my value added score was shit. And there wasn't even any money riding on that.

I did battle at that school every year with the fact that teachers overmarked students to make it look like they had achieved the expected level. I marked honestly and fairly and again, on paper I looked shit. But if a Year 8 comes to me in September with a teacher assessed grade of Level 7 on the spreadsheet, and in reality they're barely managing a 6, am I supposed to lie? I seemed to be the only one who found this a problem ethically. (I'm not there any more!)

If this is what it's like without PRP, can you IMAGINE what it would be like once salaries are riding on it?

cory Fri 18-Oct-13 09:28:02

My dd managed to struggle through her unsupportive junior school and once she had got to her wonderful secondary school she had a breakdown due to flashbacks and started school refusing.

Due to the amazing support of the teachers she managed to come back in the end and get 6 A-C grades- instead of the 10 A-A*'s she was predicted in Yr 7.

Should the secondary school teachers be penalised for this? I don't suppose dd would still be alive today if it hadn't been for them- she certainly wouldn't be going to college to do A-levels. For those who know the inside of it, this is an amazing success story. From the outside it looks like failure.

And the nub of it is that dd is not an isolated case: it is precisely because this school has such a great reputation for pastoral care that parents of children with problems apply for it way out of catchment, they appeal to get in, appeals are upheld precisely because of this reputation. And then they deal with the fallout... Again and again and again.

Another local school has a higher reputation for academic performance but less so for pastoral care. So we didn't consider it for dd. Nor did other parents in our predicament.

YouTheCat Fri 18-Oct-13 09:28:16

I think there are quite enough sticks used to beat teachers without making their pay performance related. And it would mean even more pointless testing for children.

ToriaPumpkin Fri 18-Oct-13 09:29:31

You have two children.

Child A is very bright and academically minded, has no extenuating circumstances and with minimal intervention achieves top grades.

Child B has some struggles (whether academic, homelife, SEN or health related) and is put in a lower set. They manage in one year, with the help of a very dedicated teacher, to scrape a C which is four grades higher than their predicted grade at the start of the year.

Which teacher has performed better and so deserves higher pay? Which one do you think will be recognised?

BackforGood Fri 18-Oct-13 09:31:46

I was coming on to say the same as everyone else really. How on earth do you measure a teacher's performance.
Even if (and I don't, but some people who know little about children's lives in this country think it's reasonable) you felt that exam results achieved were an acceptable measure, how do you take into account that some teachers are teaching children whose parents are supportive, encouraging, literate and involved. Others are teaching children whose parents are also employing tutors and giving their children 1:1 teaching outside of school every day. Others are teaching children whose parents do not have the capabilities or desire to support their children through the education system. Others have learning difficulties. Others have parents who are illiterate, or who may only be literate in their home languages. Others live in circumstances that - for this thread, let's just say are not conducive to good learning / academic progress. Those just being circumstances that affect children day in and day out, before you even take into account starting points, etc.

flowery Fri 18-Oct-13 09:34:39

"Because for teachers performance can only be measured through the achievements of the children they teach"

I completely disagree with that, and I think Headteachers appraising the performance of their staff ought to be capable of assessing how well teachers are performing with a bit more nuance than that.

Lots of jobs are appraised without concrete data to rely on.

jacks365 Fri 18-Oct-13 09:35:29

2 local schools one is selective and achieves 98% with 5 or more a*-c gcse the other manages the national average. Which teachers work harder and face more challenges do you think? Which deserve tge higher performance related pay? Which on paper look better?

noblegiraffe Fri 18-Oct-13 09:36:36

I teach maths, so the kids are in sets. It is really important when kids are set that there is fluid movement between sets so that kids can work at the right level, be given appropriate support and challenge.

So I have two particular kids in my class, one is brilliant and will beat his target. He should be moved up a set to access more challenging work. The other will fail to meet his target which is set too high by FFT, but is working in the correct set for his ability.

If my pay is tied to their targets, I would keep the over performing kid, even though they should move up a set, and move down underperforming but in the correct set kid, so that the next teacher down can take the hit when he misses his target. That is not what is best for the children, but my pay is on the line. No?

And in my school, the bottom set always have negative value added. This is because it's got the kids in it who bunk off school, the ones who spend half the week at college, the ones who fall asleep in lessons because their parents let them play COD all night, the ones who really don't give a shit. Who is the HOD going to allocate that set to if they know that teacher will forfeit a pay rise as a result?

And it's worth remembering that a class's results aren't just down to the work of the teacher that particular year, but a cumulation of their education thus far. A teacher who inherits a class from a great teacher is in a far better position results-wise than a teacher who inherits one from a series of poor supply teachers.

While my pay is already linked to my performance because I'm on the upper pay scale, I'm far happier when my performance is rated as how I have contributed to the department, the school, mentoring new teachers, running training sessions, and things that I can control like my planning, marking, resources. Payment by results is just a lottery depending on which classes you get, and could be used by unscrupulous management to withhold pay rises from good teachers.

ontheotherside Fri 18-Oct-13 09:38:08

"Lots of jobs are appraised without concrete data to rely on."

Yes, but in teaching you don't get to know the outcome of your effort until 7 years after you begin ...

cory Fri 18-Oct-13 09:38:29

Performance related pay can of course be linked to the predicted grades so Toria's objection can be overcome.

But mine cannot: the case of a child who goes to pieces in secondary and performs under predicted grades but still far far higher than could have happened if the teacher had not been such a support.

YouTheCat Fri 18-Oct-13 09:38:33

So, Flowery, you think they should introduce more paperwork into schools? A school (generally speaking) is not a business. It is not about making a profit. It is about turning out well-rounded individuals, hopefully with a few gcses under their belts. There's quite enough going on with inspections and the like as it is.

PlatinumStart Fri 18-Oct-13 09:39:56

I don't understand why people are saying the only way to meAsure performance is the performance of the children?

WillieWaggledagger Fri 18-Oct-13 09:41:04

most teachers i know don't object to performance related pay as a principle. they are concerned about how that performance is defined and measured though

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