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Doug McAvoy, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, has called on the School Teachers' Review Body to...
Doug McAvoy, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, has called on the School Teachers' Review Body to reject government demands to include pupil progress as a standard for assessing teachers for performance related pay.

The system was discriminatory and unfair. Clear evidence existed of factors beyond the control of schools which impacted on pupil performance and the education department had agreed to work with the NUT on research on this issue.

Those factors include: the gender balance of classes, socio-economic background, variation in age of pupils, language readiness, number of pupils with special educational needs and class size.

Mr McAvoy made five further demands when he gave evidence to the review body yesterday.

1. There must be a fair and transparent appeals system

2. The external assessor should be limited to ensuring that the head

teacher has operated the procedures fairly and consistently

3. Only line managers should have responsibility for assisting head

teachers to carry out threshold assessments

4. A new deadline for applications for those disadvantaged by lack of a line manager, through moving schools, or where evidence was


5. Clear guidance that portfolios of work cannot be required of

applicants to prevent increased bureaucracy

He warned the review body that teachers felt no confidence that the system was fair and reliable. They had clearly voiced their objections to the scheme which was being foisted upon them. But if their morale was not to be further dented the safeguards the union was demanding had to be met.

'If our demands are met, teachers will feel some assurance that their applications will not be unjustly denied. The absence of an appeal mechanism is a denial of natural justice. And the government's refusal to limit the requirement to assist the headteacher in the assessment process to line managers only makes many teachers feel vulnerable.'

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