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A plan for the government to save money and reclaim ‘all in this together’ – performance-related pay

Posted on 1 May 2012 | 7:05am

In its latest morale-destroying assault on State school teachers (a breed not terribly well-acquainted with the current Cabinet) ministers are considering performance-related pay for them.

Perhaps if they go ahead with this, they could see it as a pilot for a similar system for ministers.

At the current level of performance, this could lead to a small but nonetheless welcome dent in the level of public spending.

Then as they continued their assault on the teachers, and their own wages fell to match failure on the economy, falling living standards, rising unemployment, rising crime, rising waiting lists, a cocked-up Budget, a cocked-up tanker drivers’ dispute, a scandal emerging from relations with News International, they could at least resurrect the earlier but now ditched slogan that ‘we’re all in this together.’

  • Nicksmegghead

    This is what I think of the Cameron and his government… 

  • Chris lancashire

    I doubt that the Shadow Cabinet is terribly well acquainted with State school teachers either.

  • Ehtch

    Easy target, isn’t it? Like to see some of these ministers try teaching for a few weeks, ey Alastair? You did a top job having a go at it last year or so.

    As an aside Alastair, what do you think about what is happening to Yulia Tymoshenko, the former Ukraine President, now imprisoned, with reference to this summer football Euro Nations Championships Cup wotsit, where Ukraine is sharing the hosting of it with Poland? It is not nice to see something like this happening to a fine looking lady. The background to it all sounds extremely disturbing. Her son in law is english, Sean Carr, the successful rock musician in Ukraine. Saw him and his wife on a travel programme a while back, can’t remember who’s it was, Palin maybe?

    Link here today about it,

    My view, if the situation stays the same, bin Ukraine, and hold all the matches in Poland, especially with the bombings that have occurred in Ukraine lately.

  • Clairedcs

    Sounds perfect !

  • Olli Issakainen

    Hunt for the truth.
    News Corp is the second biggest media company in the world with revenues of $33bn.
    It includes Fox News, Wall Street Journal, Twentieth Century Fox, HarperCollins, Sun, Times, Sunday Times and 39% of BSkyB (7.5% of ITV).
    The Murdoch family owns 30% of News Corp. Rothschilds are the largest holders of Class A shares with Capital Research (5.17%), Dodge & Cox (4.57%), Vanguard (3.49%) and State Street (3.11%).
    The biggest media company in the world is Walt Disney Co owned by the Rothschilds as is TimeWarner (Time Inc, HBO, Warner Bros, CNN).
    Other big players are Rothschilds´ NBC Universal, CBS, Viacom and the Mohn family´s Bertelsmann AG (Random House, RTL).
    Some shareholders want News Corp to appoint an independent chairman to replace Rupert Murdoch because of “lax ethical culture and lack of effective board oversight”.
    UK media business has revenues of £32bn.
    Enlarged News Corp would have had 20% of the total. It would have been twice the size of BBC.
    Revenues of BSkyB are £5.5bn – BBC´s £3.5bn.
    Rupert Murdoch claimed that he never received favours from the government and never used his newspapers to promote his interests.
    If you believe this, you may also believe that the Hitler diaries were for real.
    News Corp abused its power in UK. Rupert Murdoch dictated the UK policy on Europe.
    Mr Murdoch was allowed to buy the Times Newspapers in 1981. His share of the newspaper market is now 35%.
    2003 Britain dismantled most rules on media ownership.
    James Murdoch´s 2009 MacTaggart lecture became the media policy of the Tories.
    The Sun switched its allegiance to the Tories. Was there a GRAND BARGAIN involving the BSkyB?
    Jeremy Hunt was ready to give BSkyB to the Murdochs on a silver plate without referring the bid to the Competition Commission.
    Self-confessed “cheerleader” for Murdoch Sr would have given News Corp unparalleled influence undermining British democracy.
    News Corp could have bundled its products and would have destroyed its rivals.
    According to the so-called “Alastair Campbell Rule of Scandal” politician is toast if he stays in the news for 11 days.
    The omens are not looking good for Mr Hunt. As an ambitious politician he may have thought that by allowing the £8bn bid for BSkyB to go through, he would have paved the way for Number 10.
    Well, with the Tories now down to 29 points in the polls it looks like David Cameron will have plenty of time to write his memoirs Big Society and Me (with a foreword by Andy Coulson) after the next general election.
    Rupert Murdoch has used his media empire to gain political power. His agenda has been rightwing.
    Information industry is unlike any other. It influences opinion.
    We need plurality!

    Ps. The biggest scandal of them all, the close relationship between politicians and the City bankers, is yet to unravel. But its time will come… 

  • Gtcjd5

    Well, look on the bright side. Looks like Posh & Posher are on their way down.
    Didn’t take long. 😀

  • Ehtch

    Yep, Michael Palin it is, here is him with Tymoshenko’s daughter and son in law, Sean Carr. Found a clip of it,

    Yorkshire lad, larrrk, like Palin.

  • Tomas

    I for example use and I am not going to change anything yet.

  • Michele

     Why so?

  • Michele

    The way this gets engineered will be entertaining.

    At the moment academies are being scrutinised less often by Ofsted and teachers are doing standalone assessments of children’s progress.

    I wonder if any coalescence members have had children start or change schools in the past two years and if so, from / to which sector?

    Another poster mentioned the oddity re the tax / charity status of ‘public’ schools a couple of weeks ago.

  • Anna

    I was a teacher for 28 years in the state system – most of them happy and successful: in my last 3 years I  taught the middle set  – estimated borderline pass – and  had 100% A-C grades at O level.

    Our school was a good comprehensive and by that I mean that it took a broad cross-section of kids -from  middle class, Oxbridge potential types to kids from the roughest estates – and we did our best for all of them. Then came the Thatcher terror and the atmosphere of the school changed from a purposeful, confident and happy one to one where the very air was punitive and threatening. My department, in which we were friends as well as colleagues, some of us having worked successfully together for years, fell apart through illness and demoralisation. Two left and two died, one of cancer, the other – a truly brilliant teacher who was magic in the classroom – of heart problems exacerbated by stress.

    Before I left, I had the bizarre experience of being ‘inspected.’ One of the children came to me in great distress and said she was terrified that she had got me into trouble. The inspector – a huge, bullying fellow – had collared her and demanded to know if I taught spelling. In her terror, she mumbled, ‘No’. Well, of course, I did teach spelling techniques – my handouts and worksheets were in their files. Every child I taught kept a spelling log of his/her mistakes and corrections. I thought of approaching him to clarify matters but decided to do nothing. Why on earth didn’t he have a discussion with me? Why didn’t he ask to see the children’s work or my preparation sheets?

    I am always amused by inspectors’ criticisms of failing schools. Never, never, never have I seen or heard of an inspector demonstrating to an ‘incompetent’ teacher how a lesson should be taught.
    We were bombarded with nonsensical circulars, directives and demands, most of which were countermanded just as we had got our heads round them. Finally, I spent a Sunday  trying to fathom the latest nonsense and rang a colleague to see how she was getting on. She was non-plussed too. I was reduced to tears and my husband said, ‘You don’t have to do this, you know.’ I handed in my resignation the next day. I made a new career elsewhere until my retirement but I have been grief-stricken ever since for a career I loved and which was made impossible by the ignorance, arrogance and prejudice of politicians.

  • reaguns

    Excellent edition of Daily Politics just now. Guests included Charles Clarke and Philip Collins, former Blair speechwriter. They had a segment on the legacy of Tony Blair, which both Collins and Clarke were remarkably candid about. Collins said its too soon to tell whether Blair will go down in history as a great prime minister, Clarke said he though Blair would, though he then brutally criticised the Blair and Brown govts from late 2004 onwards for not having enough vision.

    Personally I think he will go down as one of the best prime ministers, not in the Churchill, Attlee division, but in the next division.

    Charles Clarke also assassinated Ken Livingstone, but in a way that would make me or I suspect other floating voters actually warm to Ken. He said, paraphrasing, I’m not a fan of Ken Livingstone, I haven’t been for a long time, he is the wrong man for our country, the wrong man for labour, the wrong man for London, but nevertheless he has an excellent record of achievement on transport and crime, two of the main issues in London, its just unfortunate that his other issues have overshadowed those facts in his campaign.

    If only more people could be like that rather than have blinkered over the top partisan views, like when Polly Toynbee or Andy Burnham calling Cameron “more right wing than Thatcher” and suchlike.

  • reaguns

    Performance related pay is a good idea, but only if its fair. And the only way to make it fair is through market forces. I have worked in large companies, and in government, where we had “performance related pay” but it basically involved filling in huge appraisal documents, only to be paid or not paid extra based on whether the dept had money, and based on whether your boss liked you or not as a person. Really the only people who can judge are your customers. If you are a salesman you can get performance related pay. It has to be something objective measurable. The obvious one for teachers is exam results. The only other thing that can be thrown in is some kind of pupil vote for the teacher.

    As for government, I think it would be brilliant if their pay was linked to the economic strength of the country. You could link it GDP minus debt for example. Or link it in some way to average wage, perhaps average median wage.

  • mightymark

    Unfair – possibly, but not odd as education is among the oldest of charitable purposes. I suspect it would be very difficult to frame a law to disallow charitable status (the tax relief goes with that) of public schools without simultaneously excluding all the many other charities not serving mainly “Bullingdon nobs”, that rely on education as their charitable object.

    Interested to see someone try though and, with a few exceptions, my inclination would be to support it.

  • mightymark

    Charles is certainly one of the most perceptive of Labour figures and has been since I recall his speeches to the NattionalOrganisation of Labour Students almost 40 years ago. He’s certainly right that Livingstone is

    “the wrong man for our country, the wrong man for labour, the wrong man for London”

    and given his various sectarian commtiments and the divisiveness that will ensue I wonder if he will get the time to pursue any further:

    “achievement on transport and crime,”

    Labour should have done with this character and flesh out a new and authentically left progressive position: one that treats people as equals – not according to their background.

  • Chris lancashire

    Because, Michele, the last front line Labour teacher was Steve Byers, none of the present lot – like the Tories (and the LibDems for that matter) have ever worked in education nor, to the best of my knowledge, are members of the NUT, NASUWT, ASCL or ATL.
    Milliband/Balls are as much “men of the people” as Cameron/Osborne (or Clegg). We are ruled by a political class whose only interest is the pursuit of power for its own ends.
    That’s why.

  • reaguns

    Seems an appropriate place for a pro-Alastair post!

    I have a few friends who are teachers, I was discussing “Jamie’s dream school” with one of them but she refused to watch it because she said it was offensive, the idea that someone can just go and become a good teacher because they are famous. I had to inform her that she could watch and enjoy as one after another of them failed miserably!

    Obviously the premise of the show, ie select a small group of kids and then get famous experts to teach them was always ludicrous – unlike like Jamie’s school dinners it was not scaleable, you can’t rollout famous teachers all over the land! Anyway they were all useless.

    Apart from Alastair. He really got the pupils engaged in Politics.

    Better yet was when he deflated Oliver in the post-school analysis. “Do you think there is anything we can take from this into schools across the country?”
    “Nothing at all?!”

    Don’t get me wrong I wish they had come up with some teaching revolution, but given that they obviously didn’t, stating this honestly was the right thing to do.

  • Gilliebc

    Good post Anna. I think you speak for many teachers who at that time were driven to pack it in because of all the ridiculous demands and directives which kept changing on an almost daily basis.  My daughter-in-law’s parents were both teachers during that period of time.  Her dad was deputy head at their local comp. He is certainly not one of life’s quitters but the toll it took on his health was simply unacceptable.  Many good teachers were lost back then. As you rightly say Anna the job/career was made impossible for them. It was a very bad time indeed for both teachers and their pupils.

  • Dave Simons

    State school teachers include teachers at Comprehensives and Grammar Schools. But if we just focus on Comprehensives I think about fifty percent of the present Shadow Cabinet went to Comprehensives, including Ed Miliband. If we include Grammar Schools it’s more than fifty percent. A minority went to private schools of one kind or another but I don’t think any went to Eton or Harrow. Therefore, on the basis of facts rather than wishful doubts, I think the Shadow Cabinet could certainly be said to be well acquainted with State schools, a contrast to the Coalition Government and especially its Conservative members.

  • Gilliebc

    That is spot-on as ever Olli. 
    On a lighter note, my late father was also right about Murdoch’s plans and influence in this country and the wider world, the US in particular.  When Murdoch first bought into this country’s newspaper business back in the 1960’s I think it was? my dad reacted as if it was the end of civilisation as we knew it!  A tad ott maybe, but not that far wide of the mark as it’s turned out.

    Olli, perhaps in another post at some time in the future you could explain the significance of the ‘real’ Round Table, because many people in this country are confusing it with what they see as a local charitable organisation. 

    Re. your Ps. This will be a huge scandal if and when it’s ‘allowed’ to come out.  It won’t reach the head of the snake, but it will be a step in the right direction.  Presently the UK the US and the rest of the western world, plus some other countries eg. those recently taken over in the middle east are all ruled by the same big corporations, cabals and big banks.  Broadly speaking politicians are not much more than the puppets of the aforementioned corps, cabals and banks. Though in the interests of fairness there are of course some politicians of all shades who are there for the right reasons.
    The present government’s front bench of millionaires though are more than just puppets.  They are the corps. cabals and banks.

  • Michele

     Your use of ‘is’ was the reason for the question (there I was, supposing you were on about the schools they use now for their own children).

    I’m not able to always feel cynical about what a person’s parents decided for them; TB had a single parent and was sent to boarding school.  One wonders whether he’d have chosen that for himself or why he didn’t do so for his own children? 
    When TB’s own children were ‘moving up’ to secondary he chose a faith school (the existence of which makes me gip but I digress, they do exist). 
    I do happen to know though what secondary schools were like by the mid 90s and it was not pretty.  Not pretty at all.

  • Michele

     You must have an entourage under orders CL eh?
    I responded to your post about the present  shadow cabinet and you come back about the actual inefficent and dishonest cabinet and three yokels Like you.
    Bizarre …….. people should have to be tested before the button is available to them 🙂

  • Janiete

    Interesting isn’t it, how the wealthy and powerful propose regimes for the masses that they wouldn’t, under any circumstances, accept for themselves. We should take a hit for the good of the country, they tell us, but they need to retain more of their wealth in order to kick start the economy. The best way to cut the deficit is to increase VAT, cut tax credits and reduce services many people depend on, it seems. But higher rate tax payers would leave the country if we don’t reduce rates for them, and a financial services or bonus tax, would be totally counter productive. Regional pay is a great idea, they argue, but only for modest and low paid staff. More senior, managerial staff, on the other hand, should be paid on a national scale or problems would inevitably follow. The rich need to be incentivised to improve performance the rest of us have to be threatened.
    They would have us believe that public spending is a cancer that is sucking the life out of our economy, and we just can’t afford to spend as we did. But there is no mention of the extensive support given to the private sector through business related tax relief, top-ups to under-paid workers or the provision of free labour to enhance profits.
    And what about privatisation, the best thing since sliced bread? Why not let the private sector run our public institutions, they are far more efficient and will save us a lot of money? None of our vital services should be immune from the profit motive they say, but God forbid that the Royal Yacht or the Palace of Westminster be plastered with adverts for KPMG or McDonalds. Although I suspect there are plenty in the Government who would like to privatise the role of Speaker, if the expression on Cameron’s face yesterday is anything to go by!
    The essence of this Government is hypocrisy and what surprises me most is how open they are about it. Us and them, servants and masters; they are so steeped in these class based principles they just can’t see it. This Tory Government is doing its best to promote the interests of their right-wing wealthy backers. Ironically, I think they will soon discover they have done even more to promote the left-wing progressive cause.

  • Michele

     It’s not strictly fair to blame a person for what their parents decided and bought for them.

    It’s what they did afterwards, when choosing for themselves and their children that matters.  That’s not to say one is unduly impressed by people that send their children to the local school that they’ve had time to get money ploughed in to.

  • Dave Simons

     Yes, when it comes to high earners the pay comparison is always upwards, whereas with low earners the comparison is always downwards. With the former there is always someone abroad (usually in the USA) who is earning more for the same job, whereas with the latter there is always someone doing the same job for less. I think it used to be called ‘class struggle’ but that’s too simplistic for our modern, complex society – or at least an army of sociologists and Tory ‘think-tanks’ would have us so believe. Come to think of it though, class struggle never was all that simple. The polarity at the heart of it was simple, but how individual human beings related to that polarity was always complex. It might have been ‘us and them’ but it was always ‘us and us’ as well.

  • Ehtch

     I was in school until 1980, a state Grammar School, one of the last around here, and I noticed a big change in the feelings and attitudes of teachers in the 1978 to ’80 period, for the worse, as if “something was going on”. No need to
    mention now what it was.

    That was the start of the slippery slope of state central political-football over-interfence. But Blair/Brown were more hands off, but they were coping with a system that was already eighteen years old.

  • Ehtch

    OOPS!, edit – former Ukranian Prime Minister, not President, of course.

  • Olli Issakainen

    Well, the idea behind Round Table comes from Mayer Amschel Rothschild. But Cecil Rhodes introduced it. Rhodes, of course, was a freemason. Round Table is an elite freemasonry lodge. Its aim is Novus Ordo Seclorum, a world government. It brings together several sercet societies. After Rhodes, Alfred Milner took over. Arthur Balfour was also a member. Round Table has given birth to Skull & Bones, Chatham House, Bilderberg Group, Club of Rome, Trilateral Commission and Council on Foreign Relations. Bilderberg Group answers to Round Table. Round Table network has more power than elected governments. 31.5.-3.6. top national members of Round Table meet in Bilderberg Group meeting to decide the fate of the planet. Mainstream media is not allowed even to mention this meeting of top bankers and politicians. I have access to leaked material from these meetings, and will report what was decided. Last year it was agreed to continue with austerity, start internet censorship, impoverish middle class and drive the price of oil to $150. And other things which would never see the light of day if I were to mention them here. 

  • Gilliebc

    Thank you for that explanation Olli.  I hope it’s read by those who need to know!  I think it might be fair to point out that most of the people in the lower orders/ranks especially at a local level of the Freemasons, Round Table and other organisations are in the main totally clueless about what happens in the higher orders or ranks.  Not that ignorance is any excuse of course.

    We can see for ourselves their ‘grand plans’ playing out in front of us. There is an awakening happening, but it’s very slow.  By the time the majority have caught on it will probably be too late. Most of the populace are far too trusting of those in power.  This wasn’t always the case e.g. my grandparents generation were only too well aware of how this country and the wider world was and still is really run.  The PTB have worked hard and continuously in the last 50 or 60 years to re-programme and condition the masses, this has mostly been achieved by that little box in the corner of everyones living room – the TV.
    e.g. most don’t believe anything unless told by the BBC and others that something is to be believed! The BBC is running a blatantly globalist agenda, which is not surprising, given who owns and runs it. Sadly many otherwise reasonably intelligent people are now mentally incapable of thinking outside of their designated box. e.g. Essex type ‘vajazzelling’ people.  Apologies to those in Essex who have managed to retain the power of independent thought and reasoning.

    Apparently the next Bilderberg meeting is due to be held in the US between 31st May to 3rd June this year.  It might be interesting to note who disappears (temporarily) from the scene in this country and others at or around that time.

  • Dave Simons

     I wasn’t blaming anyone, just trying to respond to Chris’s post, in so far as I understood it – not an easy matter given his usual minimalist declarational style. I may have misunderstood what he was saying – does ‘I doubt that the Shadow Cabinet is terribly well acquainted with State school teachers either’ refer to the Shadow Cabinet’s education or that of its offspring?

  • Geoff

    While I agree with Alastair’s post.  I feel compelled to stand up for OFSTED.  A 2 day inspection was completed at my school this week; we had a team of 3 inspectors who were open-minded and had no preconceptions of the school.  The inspectors were human, recognising the level of stress which their presence caused, the one I had was a very experienced headteacher.  He made himself inconspicuous as he observed the lessons; he read the plans carefully and posed questions to the more confident, articulate children.  He gave clear feedback and while restricted by his position as an inspector to offer advice, he summarised what the team were looking for succinctly.  This is contrary to an HMI inspection we had in December where the inspector was rude, gave unbalanced feedback and made her judgements in a very personal way to the staff unlucky enough to be observed by her.

    Schools need to be inspected; however this is possible without teachers being terrorised.  Good leadership is the answer; both within schools and within the organisations responsible for inspecting the schools. 

  • Bar Bar of Oz

    To the teachers of the Thatcher generation:  that generation of children are in their 30s and 40s now, with careers, families, children of their own. They were the generation who voted Labor under Tony Blair and kept it in office for so long. UK hardly didn’t go to pot as a result of of those years, in fact it clearly got better. You must have been doing something right if the system was so bad.

  • Frank Burchill

    Gove said his father knew real stress whilst not being able to find work in the 50s and 60s in response to the stress currently faced by teachers. The period referred to is one where unemployment was at its lowest level and labour turnover was at its highest because employers were competing for labour by bidding up pay. What was Gove’s father’s problem? Has he passed it on?