We can do better for our teaching professionals
After commenting on the new teacher advert, teacher retention and recruitment remains a conversation I am invested in (and have been for a long time). September 2019 saw the STRB remit submitted by the Government with adjustments to teacher, unqualified teachers (£30,000 starting salary for teachers from September 2022) and school leaders, (within the bounds of affordability) part of the Secretary of States staffing strategy.
That in light of the July STRB report (12) stating that the evidence showed that
…the teacher supply situation had continued to deteriorate, particularly in secondary.STRB report (12)
That said, I am more interested in their responses to calls to overhaul or remove performance-related pay, which would effectively reinstatement a pay spine. Let’s not forget that there is currently no evidence that performance-related pay impacts positively on pupil outcomes and plenty of evidence it is fraught with bias and growing evidence it has a negative impact on retention and workload, at a time were recruitment is worryingly, unevenly low in Secondary Schools (85%, 45% for Physics in 2019/20), if raising.
Social commentary would suggest the pay systems have fragmented, come under significant pressures from budgets and inconsistently applied: targets and graded lesson observations, the usual suspects.
Graded lesson observations
ASCL reported that research from BlueSky Education revealed that two thirds of schools (68%) have changed their lesson observation practice and more than half of schools (59%) no longer grade observations or use grades rarely.
I share this snippet as the aforementioned, “no evidence it works” performance-related pay policies, quite often draws on… “no evidence / faulty” graded lesson observations.
We can do better for our teaching professionals (and staff). Don’t let the triad of teacher remuneration, performance related pay and lesson observations be separated in three separate conversations.