As never before, education policy is being driven by ideology not evidence. Every Government announcement is laden with myths about schools, teachers and our education system.

It’s time to get the facts.

EduFacts aims to challenge Government and media rhetoric by presenting the facts about what’s going on in our schools, our education system and in the teaching profession.

Each EduFacts factsheet presents a series of short factual statements about a topical education issue with the supporting evidence to back them up.

From teachers’ pay to school holidays, from academies to school funding, EduFacts will bring you the facts, not the myths about what’s going on in education.

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  • The Government is proceeding with its proposals to dismantle the national pay system for teachers by ending fixed pay scale points, extending performance related pay (PRP), removing pay portability and implementing school-based pay determination.
  • The national pay scales, setting out the year-on-year pay progression that teachers can expect, is being replaced by a structure which only sets minimum and maximum rates that schools can pay their staff. Graduates considering teaching will lose any certainty about pay, while teachers in service may find themselves facing slower pay progression than before – both will have obvious effects on recruitment and retention.
  • All pay progression will in future be linked to performance. The NUT has always opposed PRP in teaching. Measuring teachers’ individual contributions is next to impossible – teaching is based on teamwork and every teacher contributes in some way to a student’s development. Decisions will be unfair, subjective or even discriminatory – they will be based on head teachers’ personal likes and dislikes, schools’ funding positions and many other reasons not based on “performance” at all. There is no convincing evidence that linking pay to performance motivates teachers or secures better results in any case. But PRP will destroy the value of teacher appraisal as a process for supporting professional development.
  • The removal of pay portability means that teachers will no longer be entitled to keep the progression they have earned through experience. When they move schools they will have to renegotiate their pay. Many tell us they will be less likely to move as a result. Teachers on career breaks – mainly women – will be hit hardest of all as they try to re-enter teaching.
  • Head teachers and governors will waste time each year negotiating pay structures and pay rises with every teacher – preventing them focusing on supporting and improving teaching and learning. Governing bodies are likely to find themselves tied up with appeals against pay determinations and claims of race and sex discrimination.
  • Meanwhile, teachers’ pay is going up by only 1% in 2013 – after two years of pay freezes and increased pension contributions, teachers will be almost 15% worse off in real terms under this Government.
  • Michael Gove and the School Teachers’ Review Body both anticipate that these changes may only be a “first stage in reform” – the NUT is determined to reverse the existing changes and prevent further attacks on teachers’ pay.

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