'Championing the rights of children'

Gove: teachers' strike 'will damage children's education'

Garry Wed 24 Jul 2013 08:32

Michael Gove called on teachers to abandon an “ideologically-motivated” strike today after a study showed that most of the public backed plans for performance-related pay in schools.

The Education Secretary said Britain’s biggest teaching unions risked damaging children’s education by launching a series of walkouts in protest over Government reforms to pay and pensions.

Two unions – the National Union of Teachers and the NASUWT – will stage regional strikes in every part of England and Wales in October followed by a one-day national walkout later in the autumn term.

The action is being launched amid protests over salary freezes, increased pension contributions and rising workload.

Unions have also been angered by the introduction of a new system of performance-related pay in English state schools.

Under the system, existing salaries based on length of service will be axed, with heads given complete freedom to set pay levels based on the outcome of annual appraisals.

Teachers insist it will damage staff morale and lead to a recruitment crisis.

But a study published today by the research company Populus suggested that most members of the public backed the reforms.

The survey of more than 1,700 people found that 61 per cent believed teachers’ pay should be based on the “quality of their performance as determined by an annual appraisal”.

When asked for the most important factor behind a teacher’s pay, 43 per cent cited annual performance appraisals while 29 per cent said it should be determined by pupils’ exam results.

Read more... (Daily Telegraph - 24 July)