The best performing teachers could be paid as much as £70,000 a year under the government’s new system of performance-related pay in schools, according to a report by Policy Exchange.
According to the report, under the performance-related pay system, which took effect from September 2013, top teachers would be able to earn as much as £70,000 a year without leaving the classroom within an estimated five to eight years.
A YouGov poll conducted for the report found that 89% of teachers want to be paid based on the quality of their teaching.
However, the report warns that the system for awarding increases must be fair, and performance-related pay must be used as a real reward for excellence and not as a way of holding down the overall pay bill.
The report stated that performance-related pay offers three potential benefits:
- To attract and retain more high-performing graduates in the profession.
- To create a stronger culture of professional development among existing teachers.
- To incentivise some existing teachers to improve the quality of their teaching.
Jonathan Simons, editor of the report and head of education at Policy Exchange, said: “Teaching is one of the most important jobs in this country, yet for too long we have been running systems that seem to suggest exactly the opposite: treating teachers the same in how we recruit, train, develop, appraise and pay them, regardless of their performance.
“We want to treat teachers like professionals. And we want schools to have the flexibility to reward and retain their best teachers, and to use them to improve outcomes for young people.
“That’s why we believe that performance-related pay is necessary in English schools, and why we think so much of the ideological opposition to the reforms is misguided.
“But we agree with the thoughtful teachers who support this in principle, but are cautious about how this will be implemented. To see the benefits, we need to have a carefully designed system that works properly, and that is transparent and fair.”
Matthew Robb, author of the report and partner in the global education practice at The Parthenon Group, added: “A well-designed and implemented performance-related pay system could have great benefits for English schools.
“But many schools need better advice, guidance and templates in order to implement successfully. The critical area to get right is not just changes to pay, but also high-quality, developmentally-oriented, performance assessment and appraisal.”