The performance of teachers has never been more closely monitored. Schools are using increasingly rigorous processes to evaluate performance and to support the development of teachers’ skills and know-how. A range of methods are used to assess the progress being made by pupils from lesson observations to the analysis of results. The stakes will be raised further this September with the introduction of Performance Related Pay (PRP). This move has prompted protests from teachers and calls for strikes from their unions. Meanwhile Governors and Head Teachers are focused on how to make the new processes fair to all.
For Schools has recently supported an undergraduate student to conduct research into the perceptions of PRP amongst UK State School Head Teachers (HT). The research was undertaken by survey and interview during April 2014 and the findings were set against earlier research in this area.
A leading piece of research was undertaken by Wragg in 2003, which found 60% of UK Primary and Secondary HT were against PRP. Over 80 HT across the country responded to our survey, 82% of which were primary and 18% secondary. This may be significantly less than Wragg’s 1000 HT, however the results are interesting. 59% of our respondents believe some form of PRP should be used to determine teachers’ level of pay, which is in marked contrast to the views expressed to Wragg in 2003, just over 10 years ago.
In contrast, 66% of the HT believe teachers do not think PRP should be used. This is clearly at odds with the views of HT themselves.
Despite these findings 46% of HT believe that the new PRP process, which will be introduced by the government from September 2014, is not an improvement compared to 42% who do. There was concern in the survey results that the PRP process would adversely impact teacher motivation and that it is potentially divisive. HT felt that more time was needed to see the effects of the new model and that in 12 months time we will be much better placed to interpret the impact of PRP in schools.
For Schools is a leading provider of support and training for the development of teaching and learning and supplies Lessons Learned, an online Observation and Evidence system, to over 250 schools across England and Wales. Come September 2014 For Schools will also be introducing a Performance Management module to Lessons Learned. Stay tuned for more information.