Should teachers be paid by results? Yes says Gove.
I can understand why the teacher unions would be unhappy with the proposition that teachers should be paid according to performance, because that would in itself be divisive, setting one teacher against another.
Gove gets his ideas from the private enterprise model of Academies where teachers salaries do not follow a pay scale. Academies set salaries according to a perceived commercial value of the teacher and they do so in secret which helps control the divisiveness that might ensue.
However, does that mean that teachers in Academies are paid according to academic results? Absolutely not.
It may surprise some readers to learn that some Academies are in no position to monitor the results of a teacher because they simply do not keep records that would enable the Academy to make such a judgement about the worth of that teacher, if that were their motif, and modus operandi.
It is more likely that a Head teacher in an Academy would apply alternative subjective criteria to determine the worth of a teacher.
- How old is that teacher?
- How does that teacher get on with the pupils?
- How does that teacher get on with other teachers?
- Are the Pupils happy with the teacher?
- Do they have fun?
- Are the parents happy with that teacher that they have never met, or do they complain about the teacher that they have never met?
None of this criteria has any bearing on the academic standards that can be achieved. It is certainly possible and indeed most likely that an older teacher, that is less likely to fraternise with pupils, or drink with the staff in the pub after school is less likely to fit in, but more likely to achieve a higher educational standard for the pupils. It is also more likely that such a teacher would not be flattered by the subjective standards upon which head teachers rely.
In any event you cannot prove the excellence of a teacher without the appropriate academic records. And if you ask for the appropriate academic records, you will not be provided with them, even if they were kept by the school.
If you think any of this is unlikely to be true, think again. Drop me a line.