Opinion: Performance related pay for teachers: does it drive up standards?

Michael Gove’s most recent big idea to improve the teaching profession takes the form of performance related pay. Like many of Gove’s big ideas it has incensed teachers. But it’s also a populist move. One poll estimated that 61% of voters backed the idea. But will it improve teaching standards?

The evidence for performance related pay leading to improving standards in education is inconclusive. Literature shows no causal relationship between performance related pay and standards and results vary enormously depending on the context. In India one study showed that “after controlling for student ability, parental background and the resources available – private schools get significantly better academic results by relating pay to achievement; government schools do not”. Given that this is a measure that could only apply to state schools that does not bode well.

Gove frequently cites America and Australia but their evidence does not come from system wide initiatives. He also refers to individual UK schools. However the number is so few as to not be statistically significant and it’s impossible to assess whether the performance related pay alone is the factor driving improvement. I would argue that for every school that has been shown to succeed (and what success looks like in education is itself under debate) there is one that does not. Unsurprisingly Gove never mentions those.

I am a teacher who recently left a school that introduced performance related pay. It did not go well for us, prompting an exodus of teachers from this international fee-paying school in central London. They introduced bonuses of either £2500 or £5000 (or £0 of course) depending on appraisals by Heads of Department. While we welcomed the appraisal process, we were skeptical about the effect of pay on our teaching.

The new system quickly caused problems. First, heads of department were so preoccupied with administration that they were unable to give direction to staff, who became increasingly stressed. Each of the three annual appraisals would take up a minimum of 4-6 hours per teacher and took time away from the students.

The worst consequence, though, was the way it set teacher against teacher and the importance of working as a team diminished. People who had been dedicated team players felt their job satisfaction plummet and divisions arose between those who helped and those who were just seen to help. For those who worked hard yet got the lower amount, it felt like a slap in the face.

Teachers’ motivation is generally not money orientated. For the vast majority the main reward is making a difference to the world, one child at a time. Linking pay to performance may work well in business but the sort of person who enjoys the chase for profit would generally not enjoy helping teenagers learn about Shakespeare.

PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment of the OECD) comments on this and concludes that while linking pay to performance may work, it must be part of wider changes to professional development:

Countries that have succeeded in making teaching an attractive profession have often done so not just through pay, but by raising the status of teaching, offering real career prospects, and giving teachers responsibility as professionals and leaders of reform. This requires teacher education that helps teachers to become innovators and researchers in education, not just civil servants who deliver curricula.

Now that sounds like my kind of reward. By all means appraise me and give me feedback. If I am lacking, give me directed training and if I am good, give me time out of the classroom to innovate or research around my subject. Even better, send me to other schools to disseminate my best practice to fellow professionals and in so doing increase my standing among my peers. Money might buy me something nice but the reward is too fleeting and impersonal to be a long-term motivator.

While the link between pay and performance is at best unproven, there is one causal relationship that is proven over and over again:  the higher the esteem in which teachers are held, the greater the improvement in teaching standards. Teachers are already hostile towards the performance related pay proposals. I am concerned that that at least in the short term this measure will have a detrimental effect to teaching standards as it only work if you have teachers on board. In any event, it is likely to only work in the short term unless it is accompanied by reforms to the profession that focus on intrinsic motivators. As such I come to conclusion that this is a bad move overall and we as Liberal Democrats should not support it.

I became politically active to put across the case for evidence based policy in education and if I am elected as MP for Oxford West and Abingdon I will fight against badly thought out measures like this. This policy is based on the neo-liberal ideology so loved by the Conservatives.  It’s time we brought a more considered, evidence-based approach to education policy. While the research may not hold all the answers for such a complex system, it is a darn sight better than shooting in the dark. David Laws, Michael Gove, listen to teachers and look at the evidence. This is a wrong turn and I urge you to put a stop to it.

* Layla Moran is the Liberal Democrat MP for Oxford West and Abingdon

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  • ‘If you pay peanuts you get monkeys’ is the argument I hear time and again in relation to MPs, who happen to get paid twice as much as a teacher at the top of their salary scale. However, those scales are to be abolished by Mr Gove so they may not even earn that much in the future. More than half of teachers leave the profession within five years of leaving training. I would expect that proportion to increase and the quality of teaching to decrease under Gove’s proposals, which of course is the general idea – to lower the tax rate required to provide funding for state education which should be maintained at the lowest possible standard, thus increasing the disposable income of those who wish to send their kids to private schools.

  • You say “the evidence is inconclusive” but then go on to propose a raft of proposals with little to no evidence. Evidence-based-policy is a great idea but if often a cover for people simply hunting out evidence to support their own views.

    Bonuses of £2500 or £5000 don’t seem like a great way of incentivising performance. Why not just give schools the freedom to pay their staff market rates? How can a teacher have “greater status” if their worth is judged on national scales and not their personal achievements or ability?

  • Julian Tisi 25th Jul '13 - 1:37pm

    Hi Layla

    “Countries that have succeeded in making teaching an attractive profession have often done so not just through pay, but by raising the status of teaching, offering real career prospects, and giving teachers responsibility as professionals and leaders of reform”

    I agree completely and in fact I think that this is perhaps the real beef that most teachers have with Gove and the Tories (and even the last Labour government) – that they are not valued, respected and listened to. There are lots of very good teachers out there with expertise that could be used to move education forward.

    But in the same vein I’m not convinced about the opposition to performance related pay. Surely this could be one way in which the best teachers were made to feel respected and valued. Yes of course there will be questions over calibration – and I think in practice schools will need to be flexible about how they allocate their pot, in order to ensure that good team players are respected for example. But in principle I don’t see the problem with good teachers being rewarded with more money. I suspect some of the opposition may be down to a general suspicion of Gove and the Tories. The unions I guess are quite worried about how their national pay bargaining might be affected by regional or school differentials.

  • @Joe Otten
    “Rather that we don’t attract enough potentially good teachers to teach.”

    Any evidence for this opinion?

    “However we should recognise the problem this is intending to address – that too many lessons are not good enough. ”

    Any evidence for this opinion?

    “An increase in status and respect would surely involve a clearout of some of the weaker teachers. ”

    Any evidence that weaker teachers don’t leave the profession currently?

    “Is the profession calling for that?”

    Maybe they haven’t read your thesis.

  • How do you assess performance in any case against a product or outcome which is, by the very fact they are children, highly variable? Any teacher will tell you that one year group will be different to another, often greatly so, so excellent performance one year by a teacher will not necessarily mean they are a good teacher, nor will poor performance necessarily mean a poor teacher.

  • “Q1. Nope, just anecdote and observation. ”

    An anecdote is not evidence. Have you written a paper on your observations that’s been appraised and cited by experts in the field?

    “Any evidence to the contrary? I.e. do you have evidence that apparently weak teachers are capable, but just don’t work hard enough?”

    Er, I asked you for evidence. Where are these weak teachers you talk about? How many are there? What proportion of teachers are weak. How do you define weak?

    “Q2. Ofsted reports”

    Which ofsted reports? By simply stating ‘ofsted reports’ you might as well have said ‘the beano’. It means nothing with a reference to something specific. Besides, ofsted categories are highly politicised. Gove re-branded satisfactory schools as unsatisfactory on a whim.

    “Q3. How is this relevant?”

    It’s relevant because they can’t respond to something that you’ve written on Lib Dem Voice. Your assertions are nothing more than assertions made by Joe Otten in the absence of any evidence to back them up.

  • Sorry Layla, but I disagree.

    The liberal viewpoint should surely be to give schools the freedom to do whatever they feel is necessary to improve education standards, and if that includes some kind of PRP, let them give it a go. If it doesn’t work, they can always bin it. But surely it’s worth trying something different rather than sticking dogmatically to a state diktat?

    The education sector is very resistant to trying ideas from the outside world. PRP works extremely well in some walks of life, most obviously sales. But it needn’t be just about incentivising individuals. Worker cooperatives like John Lewis seem to have success with company-wide bonus schemes when the whole business performs well. We should be open-minded about such ideas.

  • @Joe Otten
    “Meanwhile, all arguments and evidence can be nitpicked. Even Ofsted reports (all of them) can be waved away, as you have demonstrated. The way to achieve a useful discussion is not just to nitpick but to put a contrasting view, that you can argue is better supported by evidence or reason than the one you are opposing.”

    Again, you’re making unfounded assertions. Nothing you said in your comments was based on any evidence or experience. You make sweeping generalisations about ‘weak’ teachers without reference to any examples or references to back up what you’re saying. You still haven’t actually stated which ofsted reports you’re talking about. I’m not nitpicking – I’ve asked a perfectly reasonable question which you have failed to answer. You can’t even tell me what these reports say.

    With regards to my comments, the statement about the level of pay relative to an MPs is a straightforward factual observation – a teacher at the top of their scale currently gets paid ~32k, an MP ~65k. Gove’s proposal is to abolish the current pay scales that mean teacher’s salaries automatically increase for the first few years of their career. The outcome of this should be fairly obvious. Those teachers that fail to meet whatever assessment will now be required will be paid less than they were before. Who decides those criteria and how tough are they going to be?

    Your comment about ‘clearing out’ weaker teachers demonstrates you have no idea about how the profession works and how such issues are currently addressed. My knowledge derives from speaking to teachers such as my wife ( in middle management), my brother (senior management), brother (middle management) and father (senior management) employed in secondary schools. There are currently a raft of measures for dealing with teachers that are incompetent or aren’t performing. Most of these tend to be recently qualified teachers. My wife has had to deal with several in the last two years alone. Most of those have left the school after competency/disciplinary proceedings were instigated. Some that weren’t coping have been re-employed as teaching assistants and are now coping much better. My brother’s school had a serious problem with an incompetent head – he was removed a couple of months ago and many of the problems he caused are now being address. There are currently numerous measures for dealing with incompetent teachers and teacher-managers and there is an extraordinarily high turnover rate in the teaching profession. Many of those >50% of teachers that leave within 5 years of joining the profession are people that were struggling with the job, many are just fed up and are looking for an easier life elsewhere and who would blame them – teaching is probably already the scrutinised profession in the country. 30 years of attack from politicians that don’t know what they’re talking about have seen to that.

    So,please tell me where your assertions about inadequate lessons and weak teachers come from? To me, and I say this in all sincerity, your comments sound like someone from UKIP or the right wing of the Tory party. That is what I would assume if I read your comments blind without the knowledge you are writing on LDV. They certainly don’t sound like the kind of comments I would expect from the party I thought I was voting for and from a party that supposedly prizes evidence-based policy.

  • Getting back to the subject of pay-scales. The huge benefit of pay scales is that employees know what they and their colleagues are earning and can readily make ready comparisons. A position in the pay-scale is entirely down to competence and experience. For a teacher, simply remaining in the profession for the first few years is in itself a measure of competence and experience and a modest reward for sticking it out. Without those scales then fewer teacher’s will be motivated to remain within the profession – that is obvious. Without those scales, the level of remuneration won’t just be based on ability, it will be based on negotiating skills – something completely unrelated to their ability to teach. The same people doing the same job to the same standard will be paid differently within the same school, let alone across different schools. Pay-scales bring a level of transparency that is absent from organisations that negotiate individual salaries between employee/employer. Individual negotiation is a great system for rewarding people with good blagging skills and men, who will end up getting paid more than women doing the same job, because that’s what tends to happen.

    One of the most fundamental premises of the market system is that the consumer is informed (advocates of market systems almost never seem to understand the basics of their religion) – this simply isn’t true in the case of pay bargaining, unless there are strict rules stating that all levels of pay for individuals within all schools. I find it particularly offensive, as a funder of the system, that under Gove’s proposals I wouldn’t know how much one of my school’s is paying a teacher.

  • “The education sector is very resistant to trying ideas from the outside world. ”

    Maybe it’s just resistant to bad ideas, regardless of where they come from (although most of them seem to come from Gove).

  • My main issue with PRP is that in my own experience, its not that easy to measure performance in most spheres without distorting outcomes. We already see this with SATs etc, children are being schooled for tests rather than educated. This becomes a vicious circle.

  • @ will Mann What precisely do you mean by ‘schools’. Do you mean lay governing bodies of variable effectiveness or head teachers who are helped or impeded by governors or head teachers of variable ability who run the school without regard to the governors? In 24 years in LA education I have witnessed all of these scenarios. Sorry but however illiberal it is represented ‘schools’ cannot be assumed to be independent of outside influence beyond a 4- yearly OFSTED inspection any more than a M&S store can ignore regular organisational scrutiny. That is what the Local Authority comprised of democratically elected local people who want to ensure a fair deal for their kids is for.
    According to Dylan William the best teachers can achieve 4x the progress for children than the worst so Professional Development is preferable to stick/carrot.!

  • Helen Tedcastle 26th Jul '13 - 2:31pm

    @ Matthew Green:
    ” Mr Gove is right about one thing: teachers must be accountable for their performance, even if we should be very flexible about how that is measured. In the bad old days, this often was not the case. ”

    Gove is saying what every in the profession already does! Why does he get plaudits for stating what goes on now? As a governor you are surely aware of performance management and appraisal – it has been in place for at least a decade. Also, Labour introduced threshold performance levels, where each teacher had to assemble detailed portfolio of evidence to prove they were effective.

    The bad old days? In this country we hark on about the ‘bad old days’ relating to education ad nauseam. It normally relates to the time just after the people criticising were educated, regarding with sceptical eyes the next generation. I have been hearing about the bad old days for decades – perhaps someone should check out the Victorian era, which Gove harks back to with great fondness, before bemoaning the state of education in England today.

    ” I think PRP is a bit of a red herring here. I am hopeful that schools will be able to integrate it into a sensible system of accountability, without dividing teacher against teacher.”

    This is surely naive. Teaching in the secondary sector thrives on teamwork and cooperation. Imposing performance pay is going to divide departmental heads from their team and pit teacher against teacher. Remember, the head of department allocates the classes to each team member – what if the best classes go to her/him while the others have to deal with the most challenging? Some departmental heads do this in order to ‘blood’ new teachers. The idea that we can leave this to chance, is another fallacy of neo-liberalism.

    I find Gove and the coalition’s cavalier imposition of PPR on what is supposed to be a caring profession, appalling – this Secretary of State takes no account of professional opinion, disregards realities on the ground and behaves like a populist journalist – which is pretty much what he is.

    How anyone in the Liberal Democrats who cares about teaching being maintained as a. a caring profession which by the way, does not mean accepting poor performance b. a vocation, could support this move is beyond me.

  • Teachers are not the only ones who are responsible for the education of children, some of this burden also falls on parents. Whether it be to encourage children to learn or help with work set by the teacher to complete at home.

    Looking at schools from poorer areas and those who have a high percentage of ESL (English as a second language) children, problems can start to occur whereby parents are either unwilling or unable to support children in their education. It is with these schools that problems with attendance can also occur, and when a children is not at school nor encouraged at home, their advancement in education is severely decreased.

    Teachers will be assessed on numerous points for PRP with one of these is based on children having outstanding progress. When you are teaching in a school such as above, fighting against a couple of your pupils on the borderline of 80% attendance with parents that don’t really care, you can still be an outstanding teacher however not meet the requirements to be classified as one. In such circumstances why would a teacher stay at that school, when they could get a job at a school in a better area which presents the opportunity to be recognised as a senior teacher.

    It will leave poorer teachers in the schools that need the most improvement, which really won’t help get those schools off the lovely new league tables the government is soon to introduce.

  • Robert Wootton 26th Jul '13 - 2:50pm

    About making teacher’s accountable. Does this mean monitoring how well teachers teach?
    Nearly every school has its own website. If the 6th form students of media and communication studies were given the project of videoing classes and posting them on the school’s website, the teaching, pupil behaviour, and the quality of the video could be reviewed by the actual people involved in the process.
    No political involvement whatsoever. The people who work in the system should run the (education) system.

  • Simon Banks 26th Jul '13 - 3:35pm

    Some sort of bonuses – provided they were few and not part of a bonus culture – might make sense. But there are two big problems with PRP, as parts of the private sector have realised (but hey, the public sector is forever implementing what was private sector state of the art ten or twenty years ago). One is that when applied to success that’s difficult to measure, it leads to bad blood and favouritism or discrimination. PRP for sales people can work very well (though I know of an instance when it was applied by the book but stupidly because the salesperson’s sales in his area had dipped because he was covering another area for someone long-term sick!). It works less well for staff whose success is hard to quantify. The easily measured success for teachers is test and exam results. The dangers of assessing quality of teaching by this are obvious, I hope. The second problem is that it undermines the performance review process, leaving people who’ve done good work feeling unvalued, encouraging anything from cheating to massage of the facts, and throwing the emphasis of performance review entirely on to the quality of the staff member’s work, when it should be a balanced process reviewing how things have gone and where results are disappointing, the reasons (which might be external to the staff member).

  • Helen Tedcastle 26th Jul '13 - 4:44pm

    Robert Wootton

    “About making teacher’s accountable. Does this mean monitoring how well teachers teach?”

    Let me go through the weight of accountability measures teachers are under right now:

    The teaching profession is monitored by Ofsted (technically a watchdog but under Gove, it is now an arm of the Government); there is performance management. This involves at least once or twice a term, a teacher going through performance targets with their line manager and assessing whether they are completed by the end of a fixed period. This is passed up the chain of command to the top. Likewise, middle managers are performance managed by senior managers; Added on to this process is ‘Appraisal’, which is the ongoing observation of teachers teaching by line-managers. This is supposed to be a constructive process but under the tight regime being run these days, it could end up with disciplinary proceedings if there are slip ups.

    In addition, all results of a school are published in national league tables for the world to pore over. I have not yet mentioned parents and pupils themselves, who provide ample feedback and accountability for actions and decisions on a weekly if not daily basis.

    Invariably, when a teacher goes for interview, they will have to teach a lesson in front of the head of department and senior teacher and in some schools even have student interview panels.

    ” Nearly every school has its own website. If the 6th form students of media and communication studies were given the project of videoing classes and posting them on the school’s website, the teaching, pupil behaviour, and the quality of the video could be reviewed by the actual people involved in the process.”

    Who would monitor these lessons? The sixth formers? As monitoring and review occurs now, this appears pretty pointless and I’m not sure how it helps anyone if all lessons are out there for the world to see – who benefits? I think it would be a recipe for bullying. You have to get used to the idea that even good teachers have bad days and bad lessons – even pupils have bad days and in the case of disturbed children, they have quite a few. How does it help to have ‘Big Brother’ monitor all these experiences ? It will not change these children and teachers are human . Even Mr Chips would have had a bad lesson.

    “No political involvement whatsoever. The people who work in the system should run the (education) system.”

    Quite but both Tories, Lib Dem Leadership and Labour seem hell-bent on ‘tough guy’ meddling, so it’s a forlorn hope.

  • John Carlisle 26th Jul '13 - 4:49pm

    I disagree totally with Simon’s first sentence, and then find myself agreeing with everything else he says after that!
    People will always be stimulated by bonuses to do one of two things: do everything they can to get the bonus, e.g. traders, regardless of the consequences for the organisation, or they will be so distressed by them (negative stimulation) that they will under-perform and be less happy at work. Most people, especially those in vocational work, are offended by the thought that money will make them do a better job.
    Steve and Layla: I agree with you, and, actually, there is some great evidence on the negative impact of PRP, and, interestingly enough in the USA, on the positive impact of not giving homework. If you would like these data let me know and I will compile it for you. Then we can NAIL this offensive minister with his half-cooked ideas that are all underpinned by a Command and Control paradigm

  • londoner8000000 26th Jul '13 - 5:09pm

    sorry to be writing anonymously but the unions at the inner London School where I am a governor already bully the Head and governors enough.
    In a highly unionised school and borough, where a lot of good work is done with students who are 60+% not first lang English speakers and 55+% FSM, the next quantum leap in improvement is impeded by a groupthink that the school is there for the teachers’ employment, not for the pupils’ results. It has taken us six years to get anywhere close to governors being allowed to observe lessons, because of union resistance.
    PRP can undoubtedly be crass and ineffective if it is poorly calibrated, but we do need to be able to incentivise good performance and motivate people to ‘go an extra mile’ – and be rewarded for it. And good PRP will include collective targets as well as individual, to support team endeavour. This is commonplace in the private sector (I don’t mean private schools, I don’t know them) and is intrinsically linked to Professional Development Programmes with bi-annual appraisal and goal setting. It does highlight individual responsibility for results, but if inadequate lessons is the key problem, that does need to be tackled person by person. And it makes it clearer for governors where there are shortcomings in leadership too.
    Unions always take the line that if you have turned up, you deserve to be paid, virtually regardless of how well you work, and have stoutly resisted PRP.
    I’m sorry Layla, I cannot accept that education will be better if you deprive the Leadership of a well-developed mechanism for incentivising focus and improved performance. The challenge is to define it well and achieve shared ownership on implementation.

  • Helen Tedcastle 26th Jul '13 - 6:31pm

    @londoner8000000: ” Unions always take the line that if you have turned up, you deserve to be paid, virtually regardless of how well you work, and have stoutly resisted PRP.” Always? Do you have such a low opinion of the teachers at your school that you think they simply want to ‘turn up’ to be paid?

    I’m afraid you sound like a governor who has a rather jaundiced view of unions and teachers – maybe your personal situation but it seems to me that you have not made the case for PRP in teaching. After all, you make no mention at all of performance management or appraisal, all of which should be embedded in school practice. You make no mention of the threshold. You make no mention of teachers at your school who do go the extra mile, day in day out – without having to be ‘incentivised’ by money.

    Believe it or not, most teachers up to now do not go into the job for money. They want to make a difference to children’s lives. In traditional parlance, it’s a vocation. This is now so out of fashion that it seems perverse. After all, aren’t all people motivated my money? Answer: NO.

    Teachers want a decent standard of living and decent working conditions but they want to be trusted. It’s curious to me that you think that governors ie: non-professional teachers should appraise lessons. I would have thought that senior teachers should be trusted by you to do this task – they have the experience and qualifications. Don’t you trust your middle and senior teams?

    Why do you prefer to destroy the ethics of teaching, rather than exhausting every other avenue for improving standards at your school? Why don’t you go the extra mile?

  • Matthew Huntbach 26th Jul '13 - 10:57pm

    Any sort of system like this results in people doing whatever it is that gets the figures that are measured up rather than real improvement in underlying performance. If they can push the things that drag your performance figures onto others, they will. If you get into a difficult situation where one more poor figure puts you in trouble, you get desperate, the survival instinct takes over, and you do what you can to get out of it – regardless of hurt to anyone else.

    So, for example, suppose you have a couple of poorly performing pupils in your class, what do you do? Try and get them to drop your class, or get them expelled on trumped up charges, or whatever. When work is allocated, what do you do? Take on the challenging tasks, the subjects that are difficult to teach, the weakest students? No, you try and dump those on the weak and naive. Do you try anything new and innovative? No, it’s too much risk – you stick to the established and mediocre which you know at least works.Do you take on any extra voluntary tasks or help out others? No, no, no – you can’t afford to – all your effort must go into what raises your figures, it cannot be “wasted” on anything else.

  • Matthew Huntbach 28th Jul '13 - 12:12am

    Just today we have had news of the bullying culture in the Care Quality Commission – which is being put down to a rigid system of performance monitoring and targets.

    WHEN will those who lead us realise that this is what their dog-eat-dog competition and rule-by-fear policies lead to? I have heard so much similar in other areas of public service – morale has been destroyed, quality has dropped, stress has increased, a job people were once proud to do has become a nightmare, all due to this sort of rigid targetting and performance measurements.

  • John Carlisle 28th Jul '13 - 10:50am

    spot on! We have developed such a punitive culture in the UK that all public servants et al can do is is stick rigidly to achievement of targets, no matter how much dissimulation that may take! So we live in a climate of fear and lies that has been created by successive governments who take NO responsibility for so doing.

  • This was a coalition policy Layla, you can’t just blame the tories for policies that the likes of David LAws have supported into legislation.

  • @Joe Otten

    You can’t use Ofsted reports – there is no evidence that Ofsted works – there is some evidence from an NAO report about a decade and a bit ago that Ofsted makes things worse.

    More recent evidence shows that Ofsted Inspectors judgements of lessons are only accurate 50% of the time so we have the blind leading the blind.

    There is no real evidence anywhere that performance related pay works in any field, let alone one like teaching where objective judgements are near impossible.

    The so-called giant number of incompetent teachers is an extrapolation from the number of weak lessons observed, however the fact that X % of lessons are weak, does not mean that X % of teachers are weak., but rather that all teachers (being mere mortals) have off days when their lessons will be weak.

    A key determinant of the % of off days being the excessive and illegal working hours teachers have.

  • The other problem with performance related pay for primary teachers is that we mark the tests by which the children’s performance is measured! So how is that supposed to work? It leaves me accusing the people in the year group below me of inflating their grades or doing the same to the year group above. The pooh lands on the fan with the poor souls in Year 6 who face external tests.

  • Robert Wootton 5th Oct '14 - 11:47pm

    Helen Tadcastle.
    My idea involves the abolition of of Ofsted and basically every lesson being a local “mini MOOC”. This would enable children who missed lessons through sickness or being taken on holiday in term time could catch up; and the gifted could shoot ahead in private without the risk of being bullied for being a “geek”.

    This measure would also allow the de-criminalisation of financially responsible parents who take their children at the most cost effective time of the year.

    Fellow teachers could monitor and rate the performance of their colleague’s teaching ability, as could the pupils themselves.

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