Headlines: September 28th, 2004

Teaching unions and the teachers’ employers’ body have joined the Secretary of State for Education to put forward joint proposals to reform pay structures in order to reward the best teachers. The Rewards and Incentives Group – made up of five teachers’ and head teachers’ bodies as well as the employers’ organisation – has published jointly agreed evidence to the School Teachers’ Review Body.The agreement sets out proposals for a new Excellent Teachers Scheme that would see extra rewards to high achieving staff for their work in the classroom and in supporting colleagues within their schools. In addition it proposes that Management Allowances make way for a new framework of Teaching and Learning Responsibility Payments that would reward teachers who have a significant specified responsibility focussed on teaching and learning.

The Secretary of State, Charles Clarke, believes the agreement is a significant achievement and shows that social partnership can be productive in driving forward pay improvements for teachers. He said the agreement also covered new safeguarding principles, pay arrangements for mathematics and science in secondary schools and local pay.

Dr Mary Bousted, General Secretary of one of the unions – ATL – said the proposals were forward-looking and practical and meant that teachers’ pay would focus more clearly on teaching and learning, rather than administration. David Hart, who leads the National Association of Head Teachers, hoped the review body would recognise and support what he called “the careful and detailed work” that had led to the agreement. For the employers, Mike Walker, Secretary of NEOST, said the proposals would help to modernise the reward framework for teachers to make it more relevant to the challenges ahead.
The STRB’s response is expected in January.