Ministers urged to ditch pay plans

Michael GoveTeachers have called on ministers to ditch plans to link their pay to performance in the classroom.

There is "no evidence" that the move will work, or that teachers will work better with "stagnant career prospects", the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) said.

Delegates at the union's annual conference in Liverpool passed a priority resolution opposing the dismantling of the teachers' national pay structure, and the decision to extend a 1% pay cap on teachers' pay.

The cap will "depress teachers' living standards and fail to recruit the brightest and the best to the profession", the resolution said. It called on the union's executive to "lobby the government and the opposition to reinstate a national pay structure for teachers and restore teachers' pay in line with inflation."

Proposing the motion, ATL's junior vice president Mark Baker said: "There is no evidence that performance-related pay works for a profession that has far higher ideals. There is no evidence that professionals work better with stagnant career prospects. There is no evidence that morale is maintained through cutting pay."

Mr Baker claimed that the move will "thwart teachers' aspirations" and "offer leaders the opportunity to reward friends". He added: "It's not based upon real performance or any addition to a child's learning but on subservience and compliance."

Ministers confirmed in January that they are pressing ahead with plans for performance-related pay. Under the changes, which are expected to come into full effect next year, teachers will no longer receive automatic annual pay rises, but will get annual appraisals, with schools deciding on salary levels.

Education Secretary Michael Gove has insisted that the move will give schools greater freedom over teachers' pay, and help them recruit the best staff.

A Department for Education spokeswoman said: "We want to make it easier for schools to reward good performance and attract and retain those teachers who have the greatest impact on their pupils' achievements.

"This will be much fairer than the current arrangements which see the vast majority of teachers automatically getting a pay rise each year. We do not think it is fair that a highly effective new entrant, for example, should be paid less than their long-serving but less effective peer."