Poms to pay good teachers properly, unions having a sook

Teachers unions are just a protection racket for useless teachers who screw up kids lives.

In the UK where they are looking at paying teachers on performance, new research has found that despite vocal objections from the unions, most teachers welcome the principle behind it.

Teachers could earn £70,000 a year after just five years in the profession under a new performance-related pay scheme, according to a study.

A report by the influential Policy Exchange think tank found that a regime introduced by ministers could see the best performing teachers earning higher wages within a much quicker time frame than under the traditional format.

The study, published on Friday, says the scheme – which has been fiercely opposed by classroom unions – could attract more graduates to the profession, driving up the quality of teaching in schools across the country. 

Qualified teachers in schools run by local authorities currently earn a minimum of £21,804, or £27,270 in inner London, depending on how long they have served. Senior teachers can make up to £57,520, or £64,677 in the capital, according to the Department for Education, while head teachers can reach a salary of between £42,803 and £113,303.

Under the performance-related pay system, which was introduced last year but will take effect from September, teachers would be able to earn as much as £70,000 a year, without leaving the classroom, within an estimated five to eight years, the report found.

Welcoming the scheme, it says performance-related pay has been implemented in high-performing education systems abroad, including Shanghai, without adverse effects for teachers and students. The study notes that pay is not the primary motivator for the majority of teachers but says those who perform best should be rewarded.

It recommends the system should include an evaluation based on several measures, not just test or exam scores, which takes place over more than one year to reduce volatility in results and to allow staff to adjust to the new assessments.

The paper found that despite vocal objections from the unions, most teachers welcome the principle behind it.

Is there anything the teacher unions support other than their own ideas? They don;t hold a monopoly on ideas, and it is high time they were put in their place.


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  • Sym Gardiner

    You’ve hit the nail on the head. When you talk to teachers, almost universally they think they do “hold a monopoly on ideas” to do do with schools and education. Even the very best teachers… when you push them revert to the “we know best” stance. It’s quite funny (and sad). It’s sad because when you see the standard of their classes at university it’s shockingly low.

    • binSchmidt

      I’m not sure where I stand on the performance pay issue, but don’t most people in most professions think they know best how to do their own job?

      • Sym Gardiner

        No. Most professionals realise they have heaps to learn from both others in their profession and from other professions. It’s called real professional development.

      • Blokeintakapuna

        …and there’s a thing called “peer review” also

    • mwt64

      I do find it ironic, that teachers appear to get a bad rap for most of our social ills. I have never met a teacher yet that thinks they know best. Most cetainly they do not think they hold a monopoly on ideas. Teachers do a degree in teaching, not knowledge.

      I know for a fact that all teachers, go into the profession because they care about children. They certainly do not do it for money. I also know for a fact that teachers literally put their heart and soul into their profession of teaching children.

      Teachers are not a cure all… nor are they perfect…. Parents need to stop moaning, and begin to appreciate not be so disparaging.

      • Sym Gardiner

        No. Parents need to become more demanding of those they entrust their most precious asset(s) to. If teachers can’t handle the thought of accountability, they should get out now.

        • mwt64

          Really?? Teachers are responsible that children come to school with no food in their tummys, tired, angry because they have seen too much violence and drug taking, and then these poor children are then unable/unwilling to learn. Do you really think that is the teachers fault?

          In my humble opinion, parents are the primary carers, nuturers and educators. We send our children to school to learn the curriculm. If the knowledge of the curriculum fails, I agree absolutely that it is the teachers responsiblity. But there is really far to much abrogating of parental responsiblity onto teachers. They are teachers of knowledge not life skills.

          • Sym Gardiner

            I agree with you. “But there is really far to much abrogating of parental responsibility onto teachers.” – couldn’t have put it better myself.
            And part of that is ensuring that the teaching of the curriculum is done well and that the environment that this occurs in is safe and professionally run. And to do that requires parents to hold teachers accountable for doing that and to stick their proverbial beak in when they don’t see it happening.
            Unfortunately there is a heap of “life skills” nonsense being added to what schools do. A big part of what National Standards is about is to focus schools back on doing a really good job of teaching the curriculum.

        • Peej

          If parents can’t handle the thought of accountability, they should get out now?

          • Sym Gardiner

            A parent knows they can’t “get out” of being a parent.

      • Blokeintakapuna

        Not all teachers. Some of the “kiddy fiddlers” join for access to more kids… As demonstrated most weeks in the news headlines.

        But if the teachers really did care about the kids first and only, the teachers would be standing up to vested interest unions and demanding “continuous improvement” for all – not enabling the unions to stall off attempts at improving the failing 20%

      • Bunswalla

        Clearly you’re a teacher, or married to one. How to tell? “I know for a FACT that ALL teachers go into the profession because…” No, teachers don’t think they know everything, do they?

        It’s also a complete crock – I know teachers that do it because it’s a job, that pays reasonable money and has a shitload of time off. I only personally know three teachers, and they all have espoused that view. So if I were commenting like you do, I’d say “I literally know that 100% of teachers for a proven fact are motivated by good pay and lots of time off. They never mentioned love of children or the desire to impart knowledge once, so therefore ALL teachers think like that.” Total logic fail by you – go to the back of the class and sit on the naughty stool.

        • mwt64

          Whoop whoop you should of been a detective. Big bloody deal. Crime of the century being or knowing a teacher. You must be a teacher yourself, because you appear that you know a lot about everything!!

    • binSchmidt

      It also sounds like you’re talking about university lecturers. They already are rewarded based on their performance, but it’s primarily their performance as researchers rather than as lecturers that universities care about. At the end of the day, that’s what gets a good university ranking and that’s what attracts students.
      Having said that, lecturers are assessed on their teaching. It’s standard practice for students to grade the class every semester.

      • Sym Gardiner

        No. I’m very much talking about early childhood and school teachers. Most university lecturers know they aren’t the absolute authority on learning because as part of their research work they are constantly having to reference others on whose coattails they stand upon.
        Interestingly when I was at university they were just bringing in student assessment of lecturers. It was amazing the resistance by the worst lecturers as opposed to the good lecturers who embraced it.
        My comments about teachers is simply that when pressed and shown that they are wrong about something, they will almost universally revert to the “we are the teachers, we know best”. Few have the professionalism to admit they are wrong. Even fewer have the professionalism to bite their tongue and follow the parents demands/instructions/desires for their child when the parent might be barking up the wrong tree.

  • Blokeintakapuna

    Why do educational unions oppose attempts at “continuous improvement” and such like?

    Because, like the Sales Manager who earned the promotion to Manager because she was the best at “sales” – the unions promote their “talent” based on similar performance metrics… Except theirs must be to do with maintaining/increasing memberships…and those that do the best, get the promotions.

    Now factor a little known fact into the mix, that NZ’s average teacher age is 55y/o – with a lengthy contribution of membership fees, it’s only natural patch-protection that the Unions would want to stall-off all attempts at evaluating and measuring the capabilities and performance of their longest paying customers, because they know that should critical analysis of the “performance” of these 55y/o would likely entail a dramatic decrease in long term customers prepared to pay memberships each week.

    Obfuscate, moan, bleat, bitch long and loud about everything, except the real reason why the unions are totally afraid of “continuous improvement”

    Ironic, that they then have “licence” to educate those who will become NZ’s future.

    • Sym Gardiner

      That’s why parents must (absolutely MUST) take a more active role in educating their children. This should be both directly AND by demanding accountability, transparency and performance from schools and teachers.
      Personally I would never send my children to a school with a dysfunctional board or a dud principal. A dysfunctional board means the community (other families) can’t sort their stuff. And a dud principal will very quickly make a school dud.

      • Blokeintakapuna

        Totally agree…
        However, when the Greater Auckland Region can “elect” a dodgy, corrupt individual such as Len Brown to be Mayor… To “lead” us all… Well, the kids don’t have much hope looking for credible examples do they.

        You’re right though, teachers are supposed to be educators, social workers and interpreters for those with English as a second language… Although pinch to a pound of feral pig poo, the teachers most likely find the students causing the most “disruption” in the class room are not the ones who have English as a second language.

      • jonno1

        Absolutely agree Sym. My daughter is a school board chairman (although she calls herself “chair” as she can’t be bothered educating the pinkos that “chairman” is gender-neutral). Her board had to sort out a dud principal – not an easy task but doable with a strong board. A decile 5 school, so middle-of-the-road economically.

    • Custard

      English unions, and therefore mirrored in American, French, Australian and Nz unions to one degree or another, generally operate to disrupt a natural progress. Looking at Germanic unions for example, they work with companies not against. They understand that change is inevitable, but by working with people rather than against the outcomes will generally be favourable and change can be modified to suit all. Now look at the muppets we deal with and there is your answer. People in positions of power (read disgruntled people overlooked for promotions) thinking they can control natural change. Society suffers as a result, much like our students.

      • Blokeintakapuna

        Yep… Although negotiating with parasitic, 3rd party interlopers who have no skin in the game, no investment tied into the business… Is a kin to paying “protection money” to a legalised, extortion racket.

        Just look at the PoA v’s MUNZ stoush as yet another prime example…

        • Custard

          You’re exactly right. And is there any union in Nz that is more old school (militant and corrupt) English than munz?

  • Kopua Cowboy

    One teacher I talked to is against this idea because he is worried some teachers will fake good results.

    Nice to know he has faith in his colleagues…

    • Custard

      That’s why exams should get checked by teachers who have little to do with that class.

      • John

        That’s the one, but what a radical idea.

  • Cowgirl

    Attracting graduates to the profession and setting up an atmosphere that encourages teachers to do the best job they can for the kids. I like it.

    • Custard

      Don’t rock the boat too much cowgirl.

  • timemagazine

    I hope John Key finds some inspiration in this.

  • John

    “Unionised”, and “pay for performance” nah, won’t see that together any time soon.

    • mwt64

      I partly agree, there will always be NZEI.. But Pay performance will come in, as long as National stays in power. Labour and NZEI appear to be in bed together…. In fact NZEI encourage voting Labour.

      I agree with Pay performance, it will make the teacher work harder. Teachers are human like the rest of the population and there are some that will ‘cook the books’. But believe me, like any other profession, those teachers are sussed out in no time by the school and community. There really is no hiding behind exam results for pay perfomrance.

  • Tom

    They should give teachers a base salary of say 20K and make them work for the rest. Maybe cut their pay as there is a glut of them in NZ.

  • Truth lies

    Heck if we get paid that much bring on performance pay! Our wages here really suck, explains why the sensible young are leaving the disaffected youth in NZ to pray on the weak old. Got to love what our voracious society teaches outside of school…