Is this the end of Performance Related Pay for Teachers?

Sam Preston 31 January 2024 1 min read
Is this the end of Performance Related Pay for Teachers? feature image

In a significant move, the government has committed to eliminating the "bureaucratic requirement" of performance-related pay (PRP) in schools by September, marking a departure from the practice introduced in 2014.

The decision comes as part of the government's broader initiative to reduce the working week for teachers and school leaders by five hours. The Taskforce on Workload, responsible for making these recommendations, believes that PRP has proven ineffective in practice, with little positive impact on teaching and learning.

The task force, established to address concerns related to the workload of teachers and school leaders, has published an early set of recommendations. It emphasises that removing PRP aims to alleviate the administrative and workload burden associated with the current system. The government has acknowledged these concerns and has committed to replacing PRP with a "less bureaucratic way to manage performance fairly and transparently."

A rapid government and trade union review of current guidance on appraisal and performance management will facilitate the transition. The goal is to have the replacement for PRP in effect from September 1, 2024. Schools will be informed of any changes in Spring 2024, providing sufficient notice for preparation during the summer for the implementation in September 2024.

While some schools have already abandoned PRP, the School Teachers' Review Body (STRB) has acknowledged that the administrative burden outweighs the benefits. Introduced as a mechanism for providing salary increases based on meeting specific targets or benchmarks, PRP has faced criticism for its inefficacy.

Despite accepting most of the task force's recommendations, the government has rejected the plea for an additional In-Service Education and Training (INSET) day to address workload concerns. The government, however, highlights its commitment to working collaboratively with unions and the wider sector to establish a culture of sustainable workload in schools.

The task force also proposes a revised list of administrative tasks that teachers should not be required to perform, including the collection of money from pupils and parents, management of cover for absent teachers, bulk photocopying, investigation of a pupil's absence, and duties related to the organisation, decoration, and assembly of classrooms. This list is intended to be reinserted into the school teachers' pay and conditions document (STPCD). The National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT) has welcomed these recommendations as a helpful first step. Still, it emphasises the need for additional measures to address the broader workload crisis in schools.

We wait with bated breath!

Sam Preston

SSS Learning Safeguarding Director