Teachers sign up for pay-by-results plan

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The Independent Online

Teachers are flocking to apply for the Government's performance-related pay scheme, headteachers said yesterday. And the headteachers, who are responsible for deciding which staff should receive a £2,000 pay rise, are helping them fill in the application forms.

Teachers are flocking to apply for the Government's performance-related pay scheme, headteachers said yesterday. And the headteachers, who are responsible for deciding which staff should receive a £2,000 pay rise, are helping them fill in the application forms.

Although the scheme has attracted widespread criticism from teachers who say it is divisive and bureaucratic, the lure of the pay rise has proved irresistible.

Thousands of eligible teachers will spend next week's half-term filling in five-page forms to explain why they deserve a pay rise. The deadline is 5 June.

Headteachers, who will decide which applicants pass the new "threshold" test, are advising their staff how to provide the evidence they need to show the progress their pupils have made. Their decisions will be checked by external assessors.

John Dunford, general secretary of the Secondary Heads Association, said: "My impression is that the vast majority of eligible teachers will apply, and we expect at least 80 per cent of those to get through. People are being helped to fill in the forms. Senior teachers and teachers are working together to make sure that teachers give a good account of themselves. Many headteachers have issued helpful guidelines and they have asked one or two deputy heads to advise teachers."

Yesterday, his association and the second biggest teachers' union, the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers, issued a joint statement recognising that co-operation between teachers and heads will be necessary, and offering support to teachers who decide to apply.

Eamonn O'Kane, the union's deputy general secretary, said they had received reports that a few headteachers were discouraging teachers from applying because of the huge workload involved for heads. He said: "Our impression is that teachers who are eligible to apply will do so."

Official figures on the number of applicants will not be available until the end of next month.

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