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Trusts need to do more to curb the salaries of MAT CEOs

18 Apr

On 15 December 2016, the government launched the second-stage consultation on a National Funding Formula – the same day on which the National Audit Office warned that schools in England were facing a cut of 8% per pupil in real terms by 2019/20 which translates into £3 billion.

The proposed formula – for which consultations have now closed – will result in over 9,000 schools/academies losing out.  Money will disappear from London and other urban areas and moving to schools/academies – mainly in the shire counties – which currently receive less.  However, 11,000 (circa) schools/academies will gain, albeit they will see much lower increases than they had been made to believe because at the 9,000+ schools/academies the reductions will be phased in.

Education has enjoyed more than seven years of plenty with those in the profession drinking deeply from the financial well of generous governments.   Schools/academies that have been spendthrifts will suffer. Those who have been over-careful had been severely berated by their local authorities and the government for not giving their (current) pupils their just financial desserts.   Those that had been judicious and saved enough for a rainy day, will postpone suffering for a few years.

In the long-term, most schools/academies will have to provide more with less simply to survive, if not flourish.

It is, therefore, not with a little surprise and angst that I read the piece written by The Secret CEO (in The Times Educational Supplement of 31 March 2017).  The poor guy (his silhouette at the end of the article suggests that it is a “he”), who leads a multi-academy trust “somewhere in England” is “fed up” (the unfortunate devil) with reading “article after article about the ‘shocking’ salaries CEOs of MATs receive”.  He spends the entire article criticising critics for criticising the Chief Education Officers of Multi-Academy Trusts over the salaries they receive.

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Teachers’ Performance Reviews – One Year On

3 Jan

I        Background and Context

The link between the performance management of headteachers and deputy headteachers in England and the salaries they receive has been in existence since 2000.   However, it was only in September 2013 that all teachers became the subjects of annual performance reviews linked to pay.  Performance reviews go by the name of appraisals in the business world. For the purpose of this article, I will stay with “performance reviews”.

Autumn 2014 saw the end of the first cycle.  During the term, governors formally reviewed how the system worked or didn’t.    The researchers are busily beavering away to assess the success of teachers’ performance linked with pay.  However, it would be apposite to make a few observations based on first-hand experiences and anecdotal evidence, and signal health warnings to improve the process for teachers, school managers and, most important, the children.

In the autumn of 2013, teachers were made aware of the fact that, for the first time, they would not receive increases if they simply performed satisfactorily – or, to use the Ofsted terminology – required improvement.   Previously, a salary increase was withheld only if a teacher was the subject of the capability procedure.

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Proposal to establish Royal College of Teaching develops head of steam

3 Jan

The College of Teachers has been garnering support from the great and the good to establish a Royal College of Teaching.   In mid-December 2014, the Secretary of State, Nicky Morgan, announced that government funding could be made available to get the project off the ground. According to the College’s web-post, the Royal College will be founded on a revamped Royal Charter updated to reflect the needs of a modern fit-for-purpose chartered professional association.

In 2012, all three main political parties supported the Education Selection Committee’s recommendation to establish a College of Teaching which would enhance the profession’s standing in society.   Were such a college established and have the royal tag to it, the body would be charged with setting high standards of practice, require the members to follow a professional code of practice, act ethically and, (this will please Tristam Hunt, the Shadow Education Secretary) possibly require teachers to take a Hippocratic-style oath.   (At present, teachers are more inclined to vent their spleens with other oaths given the pressures placed on them.)

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The School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB) publishes 24th report

25 Aug

The School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB), the government quango which examines and reports on school teachers’ pay and conditions making recommendations to the Secretary of State, published its 24th report on 10 June 2014 recommending how the average 1% public sector pay uplift should be applied to teachers’ pay.

The STRB mentioned in its report that the increasing demand for school places would require more and more teachers. As the economy recovered, it saw the pay between teaching graduates and other graduates widening, which could discourage people from entering the profession.

The STRB noted that schools had been given more freedom when making pay decisions, recognised that the system was in transition and took this into account in its recommendations. Its key recommendations were as follows.

(i)            A 1% pay rise should be applied to the minimum and maximum of all the pay ranges and allowances in the national framework.

(ii)           For those teachers on individual pay ranges (leadership posts or leading practitioners) it will be for the school to decide how to take account of uplifts in accordance with the sums in the leadership scale.

(iii)          The Department for Education (DfE) should increase discretionary reference points [included in the School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions Document (STPCD) 2013 to aid schools in the transition to performance-related pay progression] by 1% for the September 2014 pay decisions, but then remove them from the document.

(iv)         The DfE should make clear that all schools should revise their pay policies for 2014-15 and set locally determined arrangements for performance-related progression.

(v)          The DfE should clarify in its advice to schools the scope for the most able teachers to progress rapidly through the main and upper pay ranges where justified.

(vi)        In a statement issued on the same day, the former Secretary of State for Education, Michael Gove, indicated that, subject to consultation, he intended to accept the recommendations. This has now been done.

Support for Performance Related Pay Grows with Teachers

25 Aug

September 2014 will be the end of the first full-year cycle in which teachers’ pay is tied to their performance.   The experiences of school teachers, headteachers and governors have been varied.  However, what is especially significant is that a survey by the National Foundation for Educational Research  (NFER) (see here) commissioned by the Sutton Trust revealed that there is a growing head of steam among teachers to support the link between performance appraisals salaries than when the policy was first introduced by the former secretary of state, Michael Gove.

Teacher appraisals were introduced by the Labour Government in 2000.   Performance reviews had a sharp edge for all staff on the upper pay spine and the leadership scale in that increases were predicated on good, if not outstanding, appraisals.   This was extended to all teachers in September 2013 to take effect a year later.  It replaces increases given to teachers who perform at least satisfactorily – based on their lengths of service.

Altogether, 1,163 teachers were surveyed by the NFER.  Of them, 55% primary and 52% secondary teachers favoured the criteria of good pupil progress and achievements being deployed to determine salary increases.

When asked which criteria should be used to decide on pay progression, the three most popular were the following.

(i)            Assessment by more senior staff – such as line managers. This was supported by 60% of teachers and was more popular among secondary staff.

(ii)           Assessment by the headteachers. This was supported by 54% of teachers and was more popular among primary staff.

(iii)          Consideration of the progress and results of pupils currently taught. This was backed by 53% of teachers.   Continue reading

School Teachers’ Review Body’s recommendations accepted

24 Apr

On 13 February 2014, the Secretary of State, Michael Gove, presented Parliament with the 23rd report of the School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB) together with his response to the report’s recommendations by way of a Written Ministerial Statement.

The STRB, an independent body, makes proposals to the Secretary of State on school’s teachers’ pay and conditions in England and Wales.   It receives the views of stakeholders, carries out analysis, reflects on it and writes its reports which are then presented to ministers.

On this occasion, the STRB made three recommendations to the Secretary of State. Continue reading

Teachers’ salaries now predicated on performance

27 Aug

I           Introduction

As from September 2013, automatic progression up the pay scale for teachers ceased and was replaced by salary increases based on performance.   Every governing body is required to devise a pay policy for staff based on this change, albeit there are no statutory modifications to the manner in which staff on the Administrative, Technical, Professional and Clerical (ATPC) Scale are paid.

Previously, automatic progression happened only for those teachers on the main scale from points 1 to 6.   Teachers wishing to progress on to the upper pay spine (where there are three levels) had to demonstrate that their performances were excellent.   Advanced Skills Teachers (ASTs) and those on the leadership scale also had their salaries tied to performance.  However, there are now no free lunches for all teachers.  They will have to sing well for their supper. Continue reading