Over 40 school reps attended our last local training, here they are discussing in groups Professor Merryn Hutchings author of ‘Exam Factories: The impact of accountability measures on children’. Reps felt vindicated listening to Merryn describing the terrible consequences all this testing is having on the children they teach. Not just in terms of the narrowing of the curriculum and being forced to teach to the tests, but also in terms of the rapidly rising numbers of children suffering mental distress and anxieties related disorders and declining self confidence.
Reps found Michael Sheridan London Regional Ofsted Director session very useful. They are determined to use his comments to reduce everyone’s workload in their schools. (Please see email sent 29-10-15 at 16:12pm) Please see below for more details on our campaign to really reduce workload and ensure we all have compliant pay & appraisal policies. See Further below for National advice & Guidance on our Pay.
We wish to see all schools pass this motion below. Please contact me on 07817 643 546 for help in doing so.
Workload, Appraisal & Pay Motion To Be Passed In your School NUT Group
This School NUT union group notes:
1. That despite Nicky Morgan’s acknowledgement of teachers’ suffering under excessive workload and issuing her ‘Workload Challenge’ (where the DfE received over 44,000 responses from teachers) our workload burden has not decreased.
2. Teachers are still, according to the DfE’s own data, working on average 60 hours a week.
3. Scottish teachers are contracted to work 35 hours a week which in reality is 45 hours a week and yet the attainment of Scottish pupils is very similar to English and Welsh pupils.
4. A very recent YouGov survey found 53% of all teachers are thinking of leaving the profession within two years.
5. Younger teachers and/or first time buyers are not only burden with outrageous high levels of student debts, they also cannot afford to buy a place of their own and are increasingly finding it impossible to afford the spiralling costs of renting a place to live in London. This is magnifying the national teacher recruitment and rising school pupil numbers crises.
6. Ofsted’s ‘Clarification Documents’ on workload e.g. marking & planning.
This school NUT union group therefore asks our Headteacher and our Governing Body to:
1. Accept the NUT’s School Leaders Guidance on Mental Health and Tackling Stress and to survey all teachers using the ‘Ready Reckoner’ & ‘Teacher Stress Survey’ found within this guidance. The results to be shared with all staff and acted upon.
2. Adopt as school policy the NUT’s ‘Work-Life Balance model Policy
3. Accept Ofsted’s official Clarification Documents on workload and note the recent statements on their new “mindfulness” not to increase teacher’s workload as a consequence of a school inspection.
4. To review, in consultation with the NUT all policies that affect teachers workload that are covered in points 2 & 3 above, with the one purpose of reducing teachers working hours per week.
5. Amend the existing policies so that they are compliant with the NUT/NASUWT checklists on Pay, Performance Management & Classroom Observations.
This School NUT union group agrees to:
1. Give this motion to the Headteacher and Chair of Governors and ask for it to be put on the next agenda of the full Governing Body in order for the requests 1 – 6 to be approved and adopted.
2. Agree to meet again within 4 working weeks of this meeting to: i) discuss any response from our Headteacher & Governing Body ii) and agree our next step in the light of any such response.
3. Note the NUT’s Guidance on Marking and Planning and apply/refer to them when discussing with management how to reduce our workload.
PROTECTING SCHOOL TEACHERS
NUT BRIEFING ON SCHOOL TEACHERS’ PAY
This briefing looks at the key issues in the Government’s plans to dismantle the national framework for teachers’ pay and impose performance related pay progression on every teacher.
For details of the NUT campaign against these proposals and the Government’s other attacks on teachers, please go to www.teachers.org.uk/campaigns/protect-teachers
The Threats to our Pay
The Government is dismantling the national pay system for teachers. It has ended prescribed pay scale points, extended PRP to all pay scales and is implementing school-based pay determination. The changes threaten much greater inequality and discrimination in teachers’ pay, with pay progression decisions taken on the basis of factors outside teachers’ control and unrelated to actual performance, such as school funding levels or simply whether or not a teacher’s face fits.
The NUT has worked to ensure that LAs and governing bodies adopt pay and appraisal policies which protect teachers against the worst effects of these changes. The NUT/NASUWT model pay policy and pay checklist can support action on pay matters at school level alongside our continuing national campaign. They can be accessed at www.teachers.org.uk/paychecklist
September 2014 sees the first decisions on pay progression under the new provisions, based on appraisals at the end of the 2013-14 cycle, and teachers are also beginning to lose out as a result of the abolition of portability. For that reason we must continue to be vigilant at school level as well as continuing our national campaign against the proposals.
Summary of the Changes
• No more mandatory fixed pay scales – schools can determine their own pay scales within the minimum and maximum values for what are now the Main and Upper Pay Ranges
• An end to pay portability – the right to keep your existing pay entitlements (including post threshold status) when moving schools
• No more incremental progression for Main Scale teachers based on length of service
• All pay progression to be based on performance and the outcomes of appraisal – schools are able to set their own criteria for pay progression, with potentially tougher criteria for progression on the Upper Pay Range and for “threshold progression” from the Main to the Upper Pay Range
• Corresponding changes to leadership pay scales and pay progression
• A range of other changes affecting other parts of the pay structure such as TLR payments
• Ofsted told to hold head teachers and governors to account over “managing and rewarding the performance of teachers in the interests of pupils”.
Key Changes in Detail
• Mandatory fixed pay scale points, in place for almost a century, have been abolished – removing the framework supporting pay progression.
• A Main Pay Range has replaced the former 6-point Main Pay Scale. Only minimum and maximum values for payments on the range are specified (equal to previous points M1 and M6 for the four pay areas). There are no other prescribed scale points and schools are now able to determine how teachers progress and by how much. Provisions on how points should be awarded for teaching and non-teaching experience have also been removed.
• An Upper Pay Range has replaced the former 3-point Upper Pay Scale. Again only minimum and maximum values (equal to previous points U1 and U3) are specified. There are no prescribed points and schools can establish as many scale points as they choose.
• Non-binding reference points – based on the previous fixed scales – now appear only in DfE guidance and may not be published at all by DfE in future.
• The AST and ET grades have been abolished and replaced by a Leading Practitioners Pay Range for teachers whose job is to “model and lead improvement of teaching skills”.
• An Unqualified teacher pay range replaces the previous 6-point scale, with the minimum and maximum equal to the lowest and highest points of that scale.
• Leadership pay has similarly changed, with a new leadership pay range with no fixed pay spine points but with broad “pay bands” linked to pupil numbers for head teachers and performance related pay progression for all leadership teachers.
• Portability of pay points has been abolished. Pay increases are only permanent where the teacher remains in the same school. Schools have the discretion to pay teachers at any specified pay point when they move schools.
• Even those who have achieved Upper Pay Range status could lose this if they change school. That will hit recruitment and retention and penalise teachers moving schools or taking a career break – with major equality implications.
• The first pay decisions based on the new pay progression provisions, requiring all pay awards to be based on performance, will be made for September 2014.
• Governing bodies will decide whether to increase the pay for teachers on the Main and Upper Pay Ranges and, if so, by how much. Decisions must be related to teachers’ performance, based on appraisal outcomes and have regard to appraisal reviewers’ recommendations on pay. Criteria for progression can be set by the governing body – and can be more demanding than the previous UPS pay progression criteria. Previous guidance on pay progression has been entirely removed from the STPCD.
• The school pay policy should set out the process and criteria for taking pay decisions. The NUT/NASUWT pay policy and checklist set out (and the joint NUT/NASUWT policies) provides guidance on setting criteria which are fair and comply with NUT policy, while still meeting the requirements of the STPCD.
• The right to apply for “threshold progression is now open to any qualified teacher, not just those on the top of the Main Pay Range.
• The right to be paid on the Upper Pay Range, however, will in future usually only apply while the teacher continues to be employed in that same school.
• Similar changes to leadership pay will be implemented from September 2014. The fixed pay spine will be replaced by a single pay range for all leadership teachers. Governing bodies will be able to determine individual pay ranges within that range. For head teachers, broad pay bands linked to school group size will guide pay decisions.
• Pay progression provisions will be amended to match those for other teachers, requiring decisions to be linked to performance and (from September 2015) to be taken according to revised criteria set by the governing body.
• There will, however, continue to be substantial pay flexibility to pay head teachers beyond the normal pay bands and pay discretionary allowances worth up to 25% of basic pay as now.
Other pay changes
• Fixed-term TLR payments (“TLR3 payments”) can now be established, valued at between £500 and £2,500 and linked to “clearly time-limited school improvement projects” or “one-off externally driven responsibilities”. The £1,500 differential between other TLR payments within schools has been abolished. The provisions on SEN allowances are unchanged.
• R&R payments are retained largely unaltered for classroom teachers but may in future be made to leadership teachers only for relocation and housing expenses.
• The Advanced Skills Teacher (AST) and Excellent Teacher (ET) designations ended on 31 August 2013. The new Leading Practitioners range applies to posts “whose primary purpose is to model and lead improvement of teaching skills”. Its minimum and maximum values are equivalent to the previous AST scale. Progression on the LP range will follow the same system as the Main and Upper Pay Ranges.
• Pay safeguarding has not been changed – the STRB reaffirmed that the current provisions should be retained, despite Michael Gove’s attempts to have them reduced or removed.
• The STPCD pay guidance is much reduced. DfE Departmental advice includes some helpful advice published as a result of talks between DfE and the teachers unions but also includes a very unhelpful model pay policy and advice on possible criteria for pay progression.
NUT Commentary on the Government’s Pay Changes
Ending portability – the obligation to match existing pay when moving schools
• Teachers seeking new jobs may be forced to compete with other teachers by agreeing to start at less pay than they are currently on. This will have a particular impact assessment on women teachers who are more likely than men to take career breaks for family reasons. Some teachers have already found that schools are unwilling to honour the pay progression entitlements which they have earned in their previous posts.
Abolition of mandatory pay points within the pay scales for classroom teachers
• This is a level of flexibility that most schools and academies have shown they do not welcome. The defined points on the Main and Upper Pay Scales give a degree of certainty – and the vast majority of schools and academies have retained the previous structure.
• In schools where this position changes, however, serving teachers could take many more years to reach the scale maximum, while potential recruits would realise that already poor levels of pay progression in early career had become far less secure.
Removal of Main Scale incremental progression based on length of service
• Annual increments have existed in teaching since the 1920s and continue to be an integral part of many other graduate pay structures. They give some certainty to career progression which is vital to support the recruitment and retention of new graduates.
• Now this certainty is at risk of being replaced by arbitrary and inconsistent decision making based on factors outside teachers’ control.
Performance related pay progression linked to annual appraisal for all teachers
• The NUT has been opposed to PRP in teaching since the day it was founded in 1870. There are three basic reasons for this:
– measuring teachers’ individual contributions is next to impossible – our profession is based on teamwork and every teacher contributes in some way to every student’s development
– there is no evidence that linking pay to performance motivates teachers in any case – but it will destroy the value of appraisal as a process supporting professional development
– decisions are going to be subjective, unfair or even discriminatory – they will be based on head teachers’ personal likes and dislikes, the funding position of the school and a host of other reasons that aren’t based on “performance” at all.
• The evidence shows that performance related pay systems fail in most situations – and schools are a particularly difficult place to make them work. Teachers in different schools would be treated very differently for the same performance. Individual schools in financial difficulties could withhold progression or pay teachers less than the proper rate for the job. Rapid promotion for some will only happen at the expense of others. An appraisal system meant to allow a professional discussion about teaching and development will, in very many schools, be fatally undermined by a link to pay and become an even more fraught process which undermines relationships between heads and teachers.