Teachers in hours row with Ofsted

Union up in arms over claim staff should stay late to earn increases
  • @S_R_Morrison

Teachers' union leaders yesterday called for an "urgent meeting" with the Chief Inspector of Schools after he said they must work extra hours if they want a pay rise.

Kevin Courtney, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said that members were left "incredulous" after Sir Michael Wilshaw, the head of Ofsted, said that inspectors would mark down schools that gave pay increases to teachers who were "out the gate at 3 o'clock".

Sir Michael said he expected teachers to stay beyond the end of the day to "go the extra mile" for children, with schools being more selective in allocating pay rises.

Mr Courtney said: "Teachers are incredulous that the Chief Inspector is trying to pen a portrait of teachers as going home at 3pm, when this is nothing like the lives teachers live."

Describing Sir Michael's comments as an "attack" on the profession, he said the NUT would be calling for a meeting to discuss the fact that Ofsted is "straying outside its brief" by talking about teachers' pay. He added: "Sir Michael is just opening the road for [Michael] Gove, who wants to get rid of teacher pay scales."

Chris Keates, general secretary of the NASUWT, said that Sir Michael was acting like the "mouthpiece of the Secretary of State". She added: "Teachers have had enough. They are sick and tired of going to work every day and being denigrated by ministers. Our recent survey has already shown over half of teachers are seriously considering leaving their profession."

In an interview with The Times yesterday, Sir Michael defended his comments. He said: "In last year's [annual] report, we said that 40 per cent of lessons overall were not good enough. And yet everyone is getting a pay rise. Hey! Something is wrong."

School inspectors had been told to challenge head teachers and governors to justify pay rises, and to give a lower rating to schools that increase pay without good reason. Sir Michael added: "As a head I would make it clear that if you teach well or try to teach well, you are going to get paid well. Somebody who is out the gate at 3 o'clock is not. Am I being unfair?"