Give better teachers more pay, says head

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OUTSTANDING teachers should get paid more and poor teachers with no hope of improving should be dismissed, the chairman of Portsmouth’s secondary schools has said.

Mike Smith’s comments come as the education committee proposes linking performance in the classroom with pay.

They are proposing to measure by exam pass rates, progress and behaviour.

Mr Smith, head of City Boys, welcomed better pay for the top performers, but warned success should take context into consideration or top teachers would be deterred from joining challenging schools.

He added that for too long the best teachers seeking promotion moved into managerial posts.

‘Poor teachers should be improved and if you can’t improve them they should be dismissed,’ he said.

‘And if you are talking about the difference between a reasonable teacher and an excellent teacher, I think the best teachers should be rewarded with more money.

‘But one of the challenges for the government is to get good teachers working in challenging schools – if they know by working in a tough environment they are unlikely to qualify for a pay rise it would be a disincentive.’

The committee’s report Great Teachers: Attracting, Training and Teaching the Best, quotes research showing a poor teacher could cost a class of 20 the equivalent of £250,000 in lost earnings over their career.

However in December it was reported that in the UK just one in five incompetent teachers in the last 18 months was sacked.