Underperform on pay 2

January 31, 2003

The white paper provides much entertainment in spotting the "old chestnuts". For example, the 1968 Prices and Incomes Board report proposed to reward the best teachers, to earmark a percentage of the salaries bill for performance-related pay and to allow students to evaluate their teachers. The last was introduced, and Glasgow University researchers investigated student assessments.

Results published in 1971 revealed that graduates with first-class degrees thought the teaching was "excellent"; those with second-class and ordinary degrees thought it "satisfactory", and students who had failed or had to resit thought teaching "poor".

From 1969, where PRP and teaching went to lecturers at the scale maximum, the result was a bonus, which resulted in a non-scale point. As only payments on the natural scales were pensionable, PRP to a lecturer about to retire made no difference. Perhaps education secretary Charles Clarke should take note and prevent a rerun of the cock-ups of 30 years ago.

H. C. S. Ferguson
Pollokshields, Glasgow

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