Schoolteachers’ pay should be tied to the value they add to pupils’ performance, MPs are to recommend

Teachers’ pay should be more closely tied to the value they add to pupils’ performance so that the best are rewarded while the weakest are discouraged from staying in the profession, MPs on the education select committee are to recommend.

The MPs say there are “huge differences” in the performance of teachers but express concern that the pay system rewards poorly performing teachers at the same levels as their more successful counterparts.

The Education Select Committee has called for a new payment scheme in order to prevent poor teachers from being shielded by a national wage structure.

As part of an effort to raise standards in state schools and attract top graduates, salaries should be linked to elements such as exam grades, Ofsted ratings, class discipline and how much progress pupils make.

The Committee’s report stated: “We believe that performance management systems should support and reward the strongest teachers, as well as make no excuses (or, worse, incentives to remain) for the weaker.”

The document recommends that the Department for Education develops proposals for a wage system which rewards professionals who add the most value to pupil performance. However, it does acknowledge that there will be potential “political and practical difficulties” in introducing such a system.

Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, hit back at the plans. She argued that a child’s progress cannot be measured in such simplistic terms, as each class differs year to year.

“Payment by results is total nonsense. Children are not tins of beans and schools are not factory production lines,” she commented. “Successful schools rely on a collegiate approach and team working. Performance-related pay is not only inappropriate but also divisive.”