“Published” survey re teachers’ performance-related pay hasn’t actually been published yet

Janet Downs's picture
“…today’s survey of 1,000 teachers by the think-tank Policy Exchange found that large numbers of rank-and-file teachers were not against a system that links wages with “quality of teaching”.”

Daily Telegraph 30 September 2013 under the headline:

Teachers back system of performance-related pay

So what did “today’s survey” actually say?

That’s difficult because it hasn’t been published yet. I checked Policy Exchange’s website on 30 September. The survey wasn’t there. The survey was done by YouGov so I check its website. The survey wasn’t there either. The only YouGov survey relating to performance-related pay was dated January 2013 and found widespread opposition among teachers:

o 77% opposed the decision to abolish all pay increases based on length of service, preventing teachers automatically gaining year-on-year rises

o 74% opposed linking all pay progression to performance based on annual appraisals by line managers

o 79% were against abolishing statutory pay scales to give headteachers greater freedom to control salaries

However, according to the Daily Telegraph, basing its assertions on a survey which isn’t yet available to the public, teachers are NOT against wages being linked to “quality of teaching”.

But what did the survey mean by "quality of teaching". Is it test results? Charisma? Coaching the football team on a Saturday morning? We don’t know because the survey hasn’t been published yet.

There’s a clue in the article. Policy Exchange’s head of education, Jonathan Simons, said teachers should be rewarded “for going the extra mile” while the DT is clear that “quality of teaching” means “performance”. Government guidelines, the paper says, suggest “wages could be linked to teachers’ ability to improve pupils’ exam results, keep order in the classroom or take part in extra-curricular activities.”

So, there’ll be no extra pay for teachers of unruly bottom sets who have family responsibilities so can’t do voluntary extra-curricular clubs (but take home piles of marking and do their lesson preparation when their own children are in bed).

The DT wrote:

“Around a fifth of teachers believed that experience “should not be a driver” when it comes to setting staff salary levels.”

So, does that mean that four-fifths of teachers DO believe experience should be considered when setting teacher pay? We don’t know because the survey hasn’t been published yet.

I rang YouGov on 30 September.  They said Policy Exchange was responsible for the survey’s publication. I rang Policy Exchange who said the survey would be published in a couple of weeks.

A couple of weeks in the future is not “today” (30 September).

The Policy Exchange findings, however, appear to have been publicised at the Conservative Party Conference. There’s a noticeboard headed, “Did You Know?” behind Alastair Campbell talking about minimum unit pricing for alcohol. I can make out the word “teachers”. I can’t work out what percentage of teachers believed what – perhaps readers will be able to tell if they watch this short BBC news item.

But whatever it was, we can’t check. Because the survey hasn’t been published yet.

I checked the websites of Policy Exchange and YouGov this morning (7 October). I can’t find the survey. It appears, then, it hasn’t been published yet.

ADDENDUM  Survey results by LKMCo (which have been published) showed “People in the UK are more likely to think that [teachers'] unions have too little influence on pay and conditions (just over 40% of people), than too much (just under 30% of people).”

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