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Workload: Performance-related pay in schools to be scrapped

The government has committed to removing the “bureaucratic requirement” of performance-related pay in schools by September, but has snubbed its workload taskforce’s call for an extra inset day.

The taskforce has this morning published an early set of recommendations as part of ministers’ pledge to cut five hours from the working week of teachers and school leaders.

The taskforce said there were concerns performance-related pay (PRP) “works poorly in practice and does not have a commensurate positive impact on teaching and learning”, recommending a formal commitment to ditch it in time for the 2024-25 academic year.

A leaked government report last year warned two in five school leaders worked ‘unacceptable’ 12-hour days

Government said it recognised concerns around the “administrative and workload burden” of the practice and will replace the system with a “less bureaucratic way to manage performance fairly and transparently”.

“We will conduct a rapid government and trade unions review of current guidance surrounding appraisal and performance management to facilitate a replacement for PRP being in place from 1st September 2024.

“By communicating any changes in Spring 2024, schools will have sufficient notice to enable them to prepare during the summer for September 2024 implementation.”

Introduced in 2014, PRP allows schools to give rises to staff if they meet certain targets or benchmarks.

But many schools have already scrapped the practice, and the government’s School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB) itself said the “burden of administering it exceeds any benefit that it is achieving”.

Workload inset day plea snub

The taskforce also said the Department for Education “should consider remitting the STRB to include an additional INSET day, at the earliest opportunity” where leaders could focus specifically on workload-cutting measures.

The government said it “strongly recognises the importance of schools dedicating time throughout the year to address their specific workload concerns”.

However ministers concluded “a further INSET day is not the right course of action”, though it “remains committed to working in partnership with unions and the wider sector to embed a culture of sustainable workload in schools”.

The taskforce also called on the DfE to consider the “merits of promoting a named leader responsible for wellbeing and workload”.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated.

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