Teachers in Catholic schools to be judged on spiritual performance

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The Independent Online

Teachers in Catholic schools will be expected to match up to spiritual as well as temporal targets as part of the new arrangements for performance-related pay.

Teachers in Catholic schools will be expected to match up to spiritual as well as temporal targets as part of the new arrangements for performance-related pay.

Ministers have given the Catholic Church £20,000 towards the cost of printing guidance which will explain how teachers' contribution to the 2,500 Catholic schools' religious ethos should be judged.

Teachers' unions leaders said that judging teachers' performance in worldly matters such as exam results was difficult enough. In spiritual matters, it would be impossible.

Oona Stannard, director of the Catholic Education Service, said the guidance, to be published shortly, would "be to do with things like worship and making sure there is strong evidence of the ethos of the school and in activities in the classroom - not just when people come together in assembly or in a few posters on the wall."

Michael Power, deputy director of the service, said: "In Catholic schools we are not just looking at the proportion of good GCSE grades, we are looking at the commitment to the reasons why the schools are there in the first place."

Heads and teachers will be expected to show how they are promoting their schools' ethos and mission statement in history and science lessons as well as in religious assemblies.

Mr Power said there was no question of non-Catholic teachers in the Church's schoolsbeing penalised. "Teachers who are not Roman Catholic know that they are coming into a Catholic school. They fully understand the religious nature of the school and do their best to support it. One of the best teachers I ever met in a Catholic school was a Jewish head of science."

Nigel de Gruchy, general secretary of the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers, said: "This is awful. It seems to me that you have to be God to verify these things. This is target-setting gone mad."

All teachers are being set targets as part of a new system of performance management due to begin next year. Its introduction has been delayed after the High Court ruled that the Government had acted illegally in imposing the arrangements by decree.

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