The NUT recognises that a fair appraisal system can support staff development needs as well as improving pupil outcomes. However, linking appraisal to performance-pay presents a very real danger to both teachers and education.
International research warns that performance-pay fails to improve pupil achievement. It divides, discriminates and demoralises, distorting teaching and undermining collaborative work. It is, of course, really about cutting the teachers’ pay bill.
Regrettably, there is already evidence that new performance-pay and appraisal systems are indeed damaging morale, as well as being used to hold back teachers’ pay. Since schools’ decisions about awarding pay progression have to be based on appraisal reviews, it is essential that NUT members make sure that they oppose any attempts to impose unachievable targets - targets which can then be used as evidence to try and stop them progressing up the pay spine.
Lewisham NUT has issued an advice document to its members, based on various reference documents on the national NUT website. It can be downloaded here or, in a text version to adapt for use in other areas.