Education & Family

Ofsted chief angers unions with 'work harder' comments

Sir Michael Wilshaw
Image caption Sir Michael Wilshaw wants schools to be more selective when awarding teachers pay rises

Teachers' leaders have criticised England's chief inspector of schools after he said they must work extra hours if they want a pay rise.

Sir Michael Wilshaw also told the Times that teachers who were "out the gate at 3pm" should not be promoted.

Members of staff who went the "extra mile", Sir Michael explained, would be paid well and receive promotion.

His comments angered the National Union of Teachers, which said wages should not be decided at the school level.

NUT deputy general secretary Kevin Courtney said Sir Michael's remarks increased fears that he "wants to be at war with teachers in this country".

"Teachers' pay should not be determined by head teachers at the school level. We don't want a system where head teachers pick and choose favourites for pay rises," he added.

'Playing politics'

Earlier this month the union voted in favour of strikes over pay. It has warned of joint strikes with another teaching union, the NASUWT.

The general secretary of the NASUWT, Chris Keates, accused Sir Michael of being a "mouthpiece for myths and misinformation."

She said: "It is time Michael Wilshaw stopped playing politics and doing the bidding of the secretary of state - and engaged in a serious debate about how to promote excellence throughout the education system.

"Teachers are in the second year of a public sector pay freeze, and evidence shows that teachers who have earned pay progression are being denied it."

Justify rises

In the Times interview Sir Michael, who is head of Ofsted, said: "In last year's [annual] report, we said that 40% of lessons overall were not good enough. And yet everyone is getting a pay rise. Hey! Something is wrong with the system."

He said that school inspectors had been told to challenge head teachers and governors to justify pay rises to teachers and to give a lower rating to schools that increase staff pay without good reason.

He also wants schools to be more selective when awarding pay rises to teachers.

He said: "It will mean some will get pay rises, some won't.

"As a head I would make it clear that if you teach well or try to teach well, if you work hard and go the extra mile, you are going to get paid well. You are going to be promoted. Somebody who is out the gate at 3 o'clock in the afternoon is not. Isn't that fair? Am I being unfair?"

Sir Michael also said any teacher who did not wish to act as a surrogate parent in poor areas to pupils who lacked support at home did not deserve a salary increase.

He said: "We just have to accept the reality of that. If you are going to go and work in these areas, there has to be a commitment to working beyond the end of the school day.

"That's why I asked those questions about performance management. It's about recognising those people who do go the extra mile."

In response to Sir Michael's interview, an Ofsted spokeswoman said the organisation's inspections of schools were "based on the quality of teaching and learning."

"Teachers' pay should reflect their performance, and should correlate with their career progression," she said.

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