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Performance-related pay could see teachers earning £70,000

Teachers could earn higher salaries faster through a performance-related pay system, a new report from Policy Exchange suggests.

The think tank welcomed the new system, which it said could see teachers earning up to £70,000 within five to eight years, compared with £52,000 in 12 years through the existing system.

But the researchers called for pay to be based on an evaluation of several measures, taking place over more than a year, to reduce volatility in results and to allow staff ot adjust to the new assessments.

Financial rewards should be delivered through increases in base salary rather than through bonuses, the report adds, and could create a stronger culture of professional development within teaching.

It could also attract more graduates to the career, Policy Exchange stated.

A survey of teachers for the report found that 89% want to be paid based on quality, rather than the time-based system.

Jonathan Simons, head of education at Policy Exchange, said: “We believe that performance-related pay is necessary in English schools, and… we think so much of the ideological opposition to the reforms is misguided.

“But we agree with the thoughtful teachers who support this in principle but are cautious about how it will be implemented. To see the benefits we need to have a carefully designed system that works properly and which is transparent and fair.”

A Department for Education spokesperson said: “Our performance-related pay reforms are designed so that good teachers can be paid more.”

But unions have criticised the plans. Chris Keates, general secretary of NASUWT said: “Under the system imposed by the coalition, however hard a teacher works and however well they perform, there is no guarantee of any pay progression. In addition, under the new system, schools, not the secretary of state, determine their salary scales.

“As teachers have had their pay related to performance since 2003, it is perhaps not surprising that there is support among teachers for the principle. However, as an NASUWT survey of over 15,000 teachers demonstrated, what teachers do not support is the system recently imposed by the coalition government, which has replaced fairness, transparency and clear expectations with a system based on excessive managerial discretion and grace and favour, designed not to pay good teachers more, as the secretary of state claims, but to pay everybody less.”

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