Performance-related pay for teachers

Overview

Performance-related pay for teachers was introduced in September 2014. Pay progression for all teachers in maintained schools now depends on appraisal outcomes and meeting standards set by schools. It is important to be aware of how the pay progression system works and to understand how your school’s pay policy is implemented.

In this article, we look at the Department for Education’s (DfE) guidance on performance related pay, how teachers are assessed against the Teachers’ Standards and how the appraisal and pay determination cycle works.

What is the DfE’s guidance on performance-related pay?

The DfE has published non-statutory advice for maintained schools on implementing performance-related pay under the School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions Document (STPCD).

It explains that performance-related pay progression enables schools to recognise and reward a teacher’s performance through an increase in pay.

Academies are free to set their own pay and conditions for teachers, including criteria for pay progression. However, some teachers in academies are contractually entitled to the arrangements for pay progression in the STPCD.

The DfE explains that:

  • All pay decisions must be made on objective criteria so that there is no discriminatory effect on any teacher or group of teachers with a particular protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010. Edapt has produced another article which provides an overview of the Equality Act.
  • Schools are under no obligation to increase an individual’s pay unless it is warranted by performance in accordance with their pay policy. Schools are free to withhold progression pay without any requirement to initiate or consider capability proceedings
  • Schools are free to make appointments above the minimum of a pay range and to use recruitment and retention payments to attract and recruit the teachers they need
  • There should be scope, where justified by consistently excellent performance, for the most able teachers to progress rapidly

I believe I’m an ‘outstanding’ teacher, should I be paid more?

The DfE explains that a teacher’s performance should be assessed against the Teachers’ Standards and his/her objectives. School pay policies should clearly explain how pay decisions will be made. It says that the policy should be clear about how ‘good’ and ‘exceptional’ performers will be differentiated.

When considering whether a teacher has met the relevant standards and his or her objectives, the headteacher might review:

  • Impact on pupil progress
  • Impact on wider outcomes for pupils
  • Improvements in specific elements of practice, such as behaviour management of lesson planning
  • Impact on effectiveness of teachers or other staff
  • Wider contribution to the work of the school

The DfE states there is no need for a school to award an increase to an individual unless it is merited by performance.

What should I do if I disagree with my performance-related pay?

There is a clear expectation in the STPCD that good performance should lead to pay progression and the school’s pay policy should define what constitutes good performance in the context of the school. Schools should also take sensible financial decisions that take account of the likely cost of pay progression.

However, in circumstances where a teacher does not receive pay progression, an important part of feedback will be to explain the evidence which was taken into account to support this decision, and how any development issues can be addressed.

It also explains that “the school should manage the appraisal process so that there are no surprises at the end of the year – throughout the appraisal cycle both the teacher and line manager should understand what objectives are in place, the evidence that will be used and the criteria to assess performance, and progress towards meeting these.”

The DfE’s advice states that teachers should have the opportunity to discuss the pay recommendation with the appraiser or head teacher before the pay decision is taken by governors.

If after such a discussion, the teacher continues to object to the recommendation, they should be permitted to make formal representations to the governing body in person before it takes a decision. The Appraisal Regulations also require an appeals procedure allowing teachers to appeal against appraisal statements and pay recommendations.

What are the Teachers’ Standards?

Teachers’ Standards were introduced in September 2012 to set a clear baseline of expectations for the professional practice and conduct of teachers. The standards apply to the vast majority of teachers regardless of their career stage.

The Teachers’ Standards are used to assess all trainees working towards QTS, and all those completing their statutory induction period. They are also used to assess the performance of all teachers with QTS who are subject to the Education Regulations 2012.

What does the appraisal and pay determination cycle look like?

We outline below what the appraisal and pay determination cycle should look like according to guidance from the DfE.

Autumn term

  • All objectives to be finalised. If agreement cannot be reached, they are set by the appraiser
  • Performance is monitored as set out in the school’s appraisal policy (such as through observation and ongoing professional dialogue between the relevant parties)

Spring and summer term

  • Performance is monitored as set out in the school’s appraisal policy

Summer and autumn term

  • At the end of the appraisal year, teachers receive an appraisal report which includes (amongst other things) an assessment against their objectives and the relevant standards and a recommendation on pay
  • Headteachers need to ensure moderation of initial recommendations with a view to putting individual pay progression recommendations to governing body for agreement and so as to account to them overall for the effective operation of links between pay There is a clear expectation in the STPCD that good performance should lead to pay progression and the school’s pay policy should define what constitutes good performance in the context of the school. Schools should also take sensible financial decisions that take account of the likely cost of pay progression. However, in circumstances where a teacher does not receive pay progression, an important part of feedback will be to explain the evidence which was taken into account to support this decision, and how any development issues can be addressed.and performance
  • Review and updated pay and appraisal policies as necessary in the light of experience
  • Governing body to determine what provision should be made in the school’s budget for discretionary pay awards and progression
  • Appraisal objectives are set for the next appraisal period

If you need advice on performance-related pay please contact us for further information.

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The information contained within this article is not a complete or final statement of the law.
While Edapt has sought to ensure that the information is accurate and up-to-date, it is not responsible and will not be held liable for any inaccuracies and their consequences, including any loss arising from relying on this information. This article may contain information sourced from public sector bodies and licensed under the Open Government Licence. If you are an Edapt subscriber with an employment-related issue, please contact us and we will be able to refer you to one of our caseworkers.