Teacher Pay

    Press/Media: Teaching

    Description

    Media request for article:-

     

    From: Judith Duffy <jduffy@dctmedia.co.uk>
    Sent: 29 January 2019 16:45:40
    To: Mclennan, Neil
    Subject: Media request

     

    Hi,

     

    I’m getting in touch to see if you could potentially help with an article for this Sunday.

     

    There was a column in the Scottish edition of The Times yesterday (pasted below for info) which questioned whether teachers deserved a 10% pay rise because of a lack of results.

     

    We’re looking for someone to write an opinion piece exploring this argument and wondered if that’s something you could potentially help with? What would you say to the idea teachers should have to demonstrate they are delivering results to justify their pay rise?

     

    Just getting in touch to find out your thoughts on this in the first instance.

     

    Many thanks,

     

    Judith

     

     

    Teachers demanding pay rise must earn one: Scottish schools are falling behind and there seems to be no great ambition to improve the prospects of their pupils [Scot Region]

    Linklater, Magnus.The Times; London (UK) [London (UK)]28 Jan 2019: 25.

    Copyright News International Trading Limited. Jan 28, 2019

    Value education — Value teachers. That is the slogan under which Scottish teachers are demanding a 10 per cent increase in pay, and threatening strike action if they do not get it. To which one can only ask: how much do they themselves value education? Nothing about the progress of Scottish schools over the past generation suggests that teachers, or the unions that represent them, have shown any great ambition to boost the prospects for pupils. On the contrary, they have held back every reform suggested by the education secretary aimed at reversing the decline in standards of literacy or numeracy. Outside high-performing state schools in affluent areas, the record is lamentable. Government figures showed last month that fewer than three out of five young people leaving primary school in the poorest parts of Scotland are meeting expected standards in literacy; just two thirds of these pupils are doing so shown any great ambition to boost the prospects for pupils. On the contrary, they have held back every reform suggested by the education secretary aimed at reversing the decline in standards of literacy or numeracy. Outside high-performing state schools in affluent in numeracy. It is the stark contrast between the better and the less well-off that strikes home. In the most deprived areas in 2017-18, just 59 per cent of P7 pupils met the expected standards in literacy. This compared with 83 per cent in the most affluent communities.

    How can teachers justify a 10 per cent claim against that background? It is now close on 20 years since the McCrone report gave Scottish teachers a massive boost, not just to their salaries but to their standing in Scottish society. It lifted them from the median range of public sector jobs into the professional class to which they rightly belonged. It gave them the kind of working week that many other workers would envy, and undertakings that protected their pensions, their holiday entitlement, their career development.

    The unions claim that pay has fallen behind since then. It is quite hard to understand what they mean. The 9 per cent pay deal they have been offered would put the starting level for a new teacher at just under £30,000; principal teachers would be paid between £50,000 and £60,000; head teachers could be on a level as high as £90,000. Compared with most other professions (ahead of starting salaries in the civil service, roughly the same as solicitors, above police officers and well ahead of social workers) teachers do well. The number of teachers in Scotland is at an eight-year high, which does not suggest any lack of enthusiasm among new entrants.

    One argument made by the teachers' unions is that pay has fallen below the level of other OECD countries. That is a dangerous case to make. Across the EU, attainment in literacy and numeracy has been rising, not falling. The same cannot be said in Scotland. A better comparison might be with England, where the starting salary for a newly qualified teacher is about £22,917, going up to £28,660 in inner London.

    So let us talk about London, where standards have been rising for ten years, even in areas of deprivation and against multi-ethnic backgrounds. These days, parents compete to get their children into schools in areas that were once seen as beyond redemption. Last year, Brampton Manor in the east end of London, a school with a high proportion of pupils for whom English is a second language, secured 20 Oxbridge places, and saw 99 per cent of its students achieve starred GCSE results. How was that done? The school's director of sixth form, Sam Dobin, said there were just two rules at the school: "You have to be ambitious and you have to work hard. And if you put passionate teachers in front of these kids, the sky is the limit. Our aspiration is to send more kids to Oxford and Cambridge than any other school."

    Ambition and passion — two qualities that would be good to find in Scottish schools, but are not always evident. When Nicola Sturgeon went down to see the socalled London Challenge in action, she came away impressed. She realised, as others have done, that success has been driven as much by the ethnic minorities themselves as by the teachers. But that surely is all the more reason to make the case for change. If immigrant families show an ambition for higher standards, then Scottish children should be encouraged to match them.

    Sadly, nothing much came of the first minister's visit. John Swinney, who has been striving to introduce reforms that might echo those improvements, has had to rein back in the teeth of opposition from unions and local authorities. The government was forced last year to shelve its education bill, which would have given schools the ability to tailor reforms to their needs. The bill was opposed, not only by unions and councils, but by all the opposition parties, except the Conservatives.

    The idea now is that the reforms will be introduced eventually, but only through voluntary action, thus avoiding the need for legislation. Do not hold your breath.

    Why the Scottish teaching unions should be so adamant in defending the status quo is baffling. Larry Flanagan, who heads the Educational Institute of Scotland, told me last year that Mr Swinney was "in too much of a hurry", and suggested that schools themselves were the best engines for change.

    He has yet to prove his point.

    When the McCrone report was introduced, it urged that, in return for better conditions, teachers must commit to improvement. "Teachers," it said, "have a right and a responsibility to contribute to the development of a quality service."

    That is surely still the case.

    Teachers may feel that they are under-valued. But only by delivering value in return can they advance a convincing case for higher pay.

    Compared with most professions starting levels are already good

    London parents fight for places in areas once seen as unredeemable

     

     

     

     

     

    Judith Duffy, Political Editor, Sunday Post

    The Sunday Post, Suite 6, The Skypark, 8 Elliot Place, Glasgow G3 8EP

    t 0141 567 2752 /07970 238254

    jduffy@sundaypost.com
    www.sundaypost.com

     
    Period29 Jan 2019

    Media contributions

    1

    Media contributions

    • TitleTeachers pay
      Degree of recognitionNational
      Media name/outletSunday Post
      Media typePrint
      Duration/Length/SizeTBC
      CountryUnited Kingdom
      Date29/01/19
      DescriptionRequest for article on teacher pay From: Judith Duffy <jduffy@dctmedia.co.uk> Sent: 29 January 2019 16:45:40 To: Mclennan, Neil Subject: Media request Hi, I’m getting in touch to see if you could potentially help with an article for this Sunday. There was a column in the Scottish edition of The Times yesterday (pasted below for info) which questioned whether teachers deserved a 10% pay rise because of a lack of results. We’re looking for someone to write an opinion piece exploring this argument and wondered if that’s something you could potentially help with? What would you say to the idea teachers should have to demonstrate they are delivering results to justify their pay rise? Just getting in touch to find out your thoughts on this in the first instance. Many thanks, Judith Teachers demanding pay rise must earn one: Scottish schools are falling behind and there seems to be no great ambition to improve the prospects of their pupils [Scot Region] Linklater, Magnus.The Times; London (UK) [London (UK)]28 Jan 2019: 25. Copyright News International Trading Limited. Jan 28, 2019 Value education — Value teachers. That is the slogan under which Scottish teachers are demanding a 10 per cent increase in pay, and threatening strike action if they do not get it. To which one can only ask: how much do they themselves value education? Nothing about the progress of Scottish schools over the past generation suggests that teachers, or the unions that represent them, have shown any great ambition to boost the prospects for pupils. On the contrary, they have held back every reform suggested by the education secretary aimed at reversing the decline in standards of literacy or numeracy. Outside high-performing state schools in affluent areas, the record is lamentable. Government figures showed last month that fewer than three out of five young people leaving primary school in the poorest parts of Scotland are meeting expected standards in literacy; just two thirds of these pupils are doing so shown any great ambition to boost the prospects for pupils. On the contrary, they have held back every reform suggested by the education secretary aimed at reversing the decline in standards of literacy or numeracy. Outside high-performing state schools in affluent in numeracy. It is the stark contrast between the better and the less well-off that strikes home. In the most deprived areas in 2017-18, just 59 per cent of P7 pupils met the expected standards in literacy. This compared with 83 per cent in the most affluent communities. How can teachers justify a 10 per cent claim against that background? It is now close on 20 years since the McCrone report gave Scottish teachers a massive boost, not just to their salaries but to their standing in Scottish society. It lifted them from the median range of public sector jobs into the professional class to which they rightly belonged. It gave them the kind of working week that many other workers would envy, and undertakings that protected their pensions, their holiday entitlement, their career development. The unions claim that pay has fallen behind since then. It is quite hard to understand what they mean. The 9 per cent pay deal they have been offered would put the starting level for a new teacher at just under £30,000; principal teachers would be paid between £50,000 and £60,000; head teachers could be on a level as high as £90,000. Compared with most other professions (ahead of starting salaries in the civil service, roughly the same as solicitors, above police officers and well ahead of social workers) teachers do well. The number of teachers in Scotland is at an eight-year high, which does not suggest any lack of enthusiasm among new entrants. One argument made by the teachers' unions is that pay has fallen below the level of other OECD countries. That is a dangerous case to make. Across the EU, attainment in literacy and numeracy has been rising, not falling. The same cannot be said in Scotland. A better comparison might be with England, where the starting salary for a newly qualified teacher is about £22,917, going up to £28,660 in inner London. So let us talk about London, where standards have been rising for ten years, even in areas of deprivation and against multi-ethnic backgrounds. These days, parents compete to get their children into schools in areas that were once seen as beyond redemption. Last year, Brampton Manor in the east end of London, a school with a high proportion of pupils for whom English is a second language, secured 20 Oxbridge places, and saw 99 per cent of its students achieve starred GCSE results. How was that done? The school's director of sixth form, Sam Dobin, said there were just two rules at the school: "You have to be ambitious and you have to work hard. And if you put passionate teachers in front of these kids, the sky is the limit. Our aspiration is to send more kids to Oxford and Cambridge than any other school." Ambition and passion — two qualities that would be good to find in Scottish schools, but are not always evident. When Nicola Sturgeon went down to see the socalled London Challenge in action, she came away impressed. She realised, as others have done, that success has been driven as much by the ethnic minorities themselves as by the teachers. But that surely is all the more reason to make the case for change. If immigrant families show an ambition for higher standards, then Scottish children should be encouraged to match them. Sadly, nothing much came of the first minister's visit. John Swinney, who has been striving to introduce reforms that might echo those improvements, has had to rein back in the teeth of opposition from unions and local authorities. The government was forced last year to shelve its education bill, which would have given schools the ability to tailor reforms to their needs. The bill was opposed, not only by unions and councils, but by all the opposition parties, except the Conservatives. The idea now is that the reforms will be introduced eventually, but only through voluntary action, thus avoiding the need for legislation. Do not hold your breath. Why the Scottish teaching unions should be so adamant in defending the status quo is baffling. Larry Flanagan, who heads the Educational Institute of Scotland, told me last year that Mr Swinney was "in too much of a hurry", and suggested that schools themselves were the best engines for change. He has yet to prove his point. When the McCrone report was introduced, it urged that, in return for better conditions, teachers must commit to improvement. "Teachers," it said, "have a right and a responsibility to contribute to the development of a quality service." That is surely still the case. Teachers may feel that they are under-valued. But only by delivering value in return can they advance a convincing case for higher pay. Compared with most professions starting levels are already good London parents fight for places in areas once seen as unredeemable Judith Duffy, Political Editor, Sunday Post The Sunday Post, Suite 6, The Skypark, 8 Elliot Place, Glasgow G3 8EP t 0141 567 2752 /07970 238254 jduffy@sundaypost.com www.sundaypost.com
      Producer/AuthorNeil McLennan
      PersonsNeil McLennan

    Keywords

    • teaching
    • pay
    • leadership