Schools must be ready for 2014’s new pay policy

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As schools broke up this week, they must have sorted out a pay policy that will come into effect in September 2014.

But the idea of performance related pay for teachers has brought a mixed reaction.

Geoff Barton, head of Bury St Edmunds’ King Edward VI School, said: “It’s easy to assess results if you have an English teacher with several groups, but what if it’s a special needs teacher?”

He also felt the lack of a national pay scheme had involved heads in time consuming policy meetings.

But Vicky Neale, head of Bury’s County Upper, welcomed the fact that the pay policy drawn up for the four schools in their academy trust allowed a Suffolk view to come into the policy.

She felt there was plenty of data to allow assessment. “You know where class X was at the beginning of the year and where it was at the end,” she said.

Graham White, the NUT’s Suffolk county secretary, said judging success by exam results does not assess pupil development.

He recalled a pupil who had arrived illiterate and unable to socialise. He said: “When she left she could read and write and was beginning to get social skills. That was tremendous progress for her, but she failed her GCSEs — that’s why it’s a faulty system.”