ATL comment on government's plans to change teachers' pay
16 May 2012
Dr Mary Bousted, general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL), said:
"We fully support Michael Gove's desire to attract the highest performing graduates into teaching and retain the best teachers.
"We also agree that good teachers help raise standards, but constant bashing and undermining of teachers and schools by the Secretary of State and his side-kick at Ofsted is not the way to achieve this.
"But we believe the range and complexity of factors influencing how well pupils do at school make it far too difficult to devise a fair system to link an individual teachers' performance to a pupil's achievements, not least because so much teaching is based on teamwork. And, as the OECD research shows, performance related pay for teachers does not benefit pupils by raising their test results.
"If Mr Gove had bothered to read the recent Sutton Trust report properly he would have seen that most teachers support the current simple national pay system. It is hard to see how the Department for Education's suggested range of models with varying levels of deregulation could be as clear or would help recruit teachers.
"Pupils in the most deprived schools would have less chance of getting the best teachers if their schools' pay had to reflect the local economic conditions.
"ATL members, both teachers and heads, have told us they fear a regional pay system would discriminate against younger and older staff, those teaching younger children, and those not teaching English, maths or a science subject.
"And it is impossible to imagine many head teachers would want to spend time and resources devising their own pay scales which don't lay them open to claims of discrimination on the grounds of age, sex, disability, religion or ethnicity."
Notes to editors
The Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) is an independent, registered trade union and professional association, representing approximately 160,000 teachers, headteachers, lecturers and support staff in maintained and independent nurseries, schools, sixth form, tertiary and further education colleges in the United Kingdom.
ATL exists to help members, as their careers develop, through first rate research, advice, information and legal advice.
ATL is affiliated to the Trades Union Congress (TUC), Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU), European Trade Union Committee for Education (ETUCE) and Education International (EI). ATL is not affiliated to any political party and seeks to work constructively with all the main political parties.