Sharing views, information and resources for school staff, trade unionists and education campaigners
Friday 29 November 2013
A LETTER FROM A PARENT - performance-pay undermines relationships between teachers and students
I am writing to you to express concern about the current situation in your school in regards to the pay policy that is being proposed for teachers and other staff members.
As a parent, I value the work that teachers do and believe that performance related pay will do nothing to improve the quality of teaching and learning that my son and other students receive. In fact, I feel it will undermine relationships between teachers and students. It doesn't take much imagination to see where this can lead: teachers unnecessarily pressurising students to meet targets, being reluctant to work with students who don't follow national trends in progress or worse, feeling compelled to cheat in order to meet targets.
You may be aware that mental health issues are on the increase among UK teenagers and I am convinced that this is in part due to a culture in many of our schools that places too much emphasis on attainment to the neglect of the emotional and psychological welfare of children. The fear of failure and the stress and anxiety that accompanies these pressures will increase if teachers are paid by narrow measures such as exam results and other numeric targets.
I would like assurances from yourself that the school will not adopt performance related pay and will stick to national pay scales. Insecure, tired and undervalued staff are unlikely to create a positive learning environment for our children. Please respect our teachers by having the confidence in them to do their job free from these unnecessary, bureaucratic and harmful measures.