The news that the governors of Wellington academy offered the then principal a £20,000 bonus "for good performance", weeks before "record grades" at A-level, GCSE grades which according to the Department for Education, "were not good enough", and the principal`s sacking, exemplifies all the problems associated with academies and Performance Related Pay.("You stand up when I enter the room", 22/10/13)
Tristram Hunt`s support for free schools was bad enough, but when he spoke in favour of PRP on Question Time last week, the hopes of thousands of British teachers for improvement and fairness in an education system under a Labour government will have been dashed. When will politicians start to understand that it is blatantly unfair to reward the head for a school`s improvement, when he or she is already generously paid far more than the classroom teacher, and when the actual learning of the "improved students" took place under the auspices of many different teachers? Should an A-level teacher with ten A* pupils be rewarded when someone else was the reason for the students` determination to succeed, another teacher of the same subject was the "inspiration" lower down the school, or that the student`s real improvement in reading and understanding resulted from teaching in the primary school? Also, another factor adding to the unfairness, as we can see in the Wellington example, is that the judgement of the governors who decide on the PRP is often questionable. Miliband needs to "do a Clegg", over-ruling his subordinates, and come out with an educational policy which is fair to both teachers and students; after the last four years of shambolic Goveism, it`s the least they deserve.