End of national pay & conditions for teachers?

20 May 2010

 The new fuller version of the new coalition government's deal, published today, strongly suggests ministers intend to break up the current national pay and conditions arrangements for teachers.

 The full document  - 'The Coalition: our programme for government' - pledges to 'reform the existing rigid national pay and conditions rules to give schools greater freedoms to pay good teachers more and deal with poor performance'.

Although similar sentiments appeared in the Conservative Party  manifesto, this is the first indication that the Lib Dem partners have agreed to action on this front. It is certain to lead to confrontation with the teacher unions.

Otherwise there were few major surprises in the document, although it does put more flesh on the bones of the reform programme that lies ahead.

The promises on new school providers, a pupil premium, greater freedom over the curriculum, and proper accountability that were in the short coalition deal are all repeated.

In addition, the longer document also promises:

  • anonymity to teachers accused by pupils
  • to allow state schools to offer the IGCSE
  • to reform league tables
  • to prevent the unnecessary closure of special schools
  • to remove the 'bias towards inclusion'
  • to create new Technical Academies
  • to improve vocational education
  • to keep external assessment at Key Stage 2 but to review the ways the tests are run


For FE, the coalition government promises to:

  • set colleges free from direct state control
  • to abolish many of the FE quangos

For universities, it promises:

  • to review the support for part-time students ion terms of loans and fees
  • to publish more information about the costs, graduate earnings and student satisfaction of different university courses.

The document repeats the intention to await Lord Browne's final report on HE funding and says Lib Dem MPs will be allowed to abstain on any vote over higher fees.




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