Ofsted chief angers unions with 'work harder' comments

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

Related Stories

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.


If the Ofsted chief's comments on pay have sparked strong responses from teachers' unions, it is because they touch on raw nerves.

Rumbling away in the background for months has been the controversial suggestion that teachers' pay should not be settled by a national deal but on a regional, local or individual school basis.

Academies can already set their own pay, but they have not necessarily wanted to exercise these powers.

Any further push in that direction would raise tensions between teachers' unions and the coalition.

Sir Michael's intervention over teachers' pay will also re-ignite the accusation from unions that Ofsted's direction of travel is too closely dovetailed with government policy.

Ofsted has never exactly been popular among teachers, but this year's teachers' union conferences saw particularly intense attacks on its alleged lack of independence.

And anyone who has ever known a teacher will know that the quickest way to annoy them is to suggest that their working day ends when the school bell rings.

"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.


More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites


This entry is now closed for comments

Jump to comments pagination
  • rate this

    Comment number 1455.

    I have a lot of respect for teachers. I feel pretty intimidated by many inner city children what with the gang culture craze. To think of trying to control that lot, let alone actually educate them....! I wouldn't do it. Give them more money I say - and minders!

  • rate this

    Comment number 1454.

    Teachers would not be able to do their jobs aty all if they didn't work extra hours. Wilshaw would not come out with these ridiculous comments if he had any clue...he clearly hasn't!

  • rate this

    Comment number 1453.

    Stop the private/public argument. Private have bonuses, public have holidays. I'm a teacher that leaves at 3, then works from 6-10 at home and one day at the weekend. I am officially outstanding in the eyes of ofsted. It's easier to attack all teachers rather than the real problem in education: poor parenting. When we will have officials that look at parents as an issue? Not how long I work?

  • rate this

    Comment number 1452.

    This guy gets paid more than 75% of the people in this country to make comments about that which he hasn't got a clue about!! We all work evenings and weekends to get the best for our learners ... does he want me to walk up to his desk and slash my wrists so he can have some blood as well ... its easy to sit in judgement when you've probably spent your hole life telling people what to do!

  • rate this

    Comment number 1451.

    @1446 ermk
    I am not a school teacher, but I have the greatest respect for teachers. Teaching used to be a highly respected profession, such a shame that as a society we seem to have lost a lot of that respect.

    If you are a teacher - I recommend that you don't bother reading the comments here, so many are upsetting. Enjoy the small bit of free time you can get at the weekend instead!

  • Comment number 1450.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • rate this

    Comment number 1449.

    It's funny how a lot of teachers retire at around 50 years old. Get a big lump sum (god knows why they think they should get it).(I thought they already got paid over the years?Then they get a pension. Also they come back to teaching almost immediately doing subsitute work and hogging teaching places of thousands of unemployed young teachers desperate for work. What happened to leading by example?

  • rate this

    Comment number 1448.

    O.K. I give in..9-5 job it is. Thank goodness! No more taking work home to mark; no more preparing lessons for tomorrow; no more writing reports in my own time; no more parents evenings; no more trips. Life is beginning to look good all of a sudden. Thank you clairepagan and aldo and other teacher 'knockers'. But, don't come bleating to teachers when your children fail their exams.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1447.

    A lot of comments are focussing on the number of hours that teachers work - but I do think results matter. Having just experienced a very nice and hard working teacher completely blow my child's A level results because she didn't cover exam technique at all - I think outcomes are more important than outputs

  • rate this

    Comment number 1446.

    I am a teacher, I don't say I work any harder than anyone else. But I am shocked at the hatred people have for people in my profession. I studied for 4 years and chose to work in an inner city school. I have never met a teacher who leaves at 3, doesn't work in holidays, take on responsibility they don't want or not go that extra mile. We are not what we are made out to be.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1445.

    I am a nurse and teachers don’t work anything like the hours we do, except around inspection time. My sister who is an inner city teacher admits that, yet they get paid a lot more, yet we nurses save lives strange that? Perhaps if schools were not treated as child care centres, teachers would be seen as wizards, yes teachers are good but they not save lives, or deal with death.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1444.

    14 Minutes ago

    Where's your loyalty to your school and staff? If it's so bad there, which I doubt, go and find another job.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1443.

    I used to arrive in school by 8.00am, as head of ICT, with no technician, and work until 9pm. No lunch hours. I was in school for 340 days of the year, got paid peanuts compared to working as a computer expert in private industry which I now do instead. I did it for the children and the children alone. Repeat - teaching is a vocation, not a money grabbing scheme as in banking etc.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1442.

    Try the job before you dare to comment! I've taught successfully for 23 years. In the last 15 (since becoming a mum) I worked 0.5 timetable delivering an average of 50+ hours a week for 1/2 a salary. Teachers don't stop working when they exit the gate, whatever time that is! I quit the profession in July aged 46 and am now unemployed because Gove and Wilshaw are destroying our education system.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1441.

    This guy is spot on. A teacher who is my neighbout is home at 3.15pm every day and I have never seen him bring any paperwork home. My grandchildren all tell me that they do nothing on the first day or so back at school from holidays and they do very little in the last 10 days before a holiday. Other parents talk of this. Some teachers work very hard, certainly not all.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1440.

    I think Ofsted should get in the classroom and teach! Lead by example, show teachers your excellent lesson delivery, detailed lesson plans, give us the pearls of your wisdom!

  • Comment number 1439.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1438.

    "Sir Michael Wilshaw: Schools to be more selective when awarding teachers pay rises"

    Translation: Ha ha ha ha ha at the teachers I get a pay rise every year for doing nothing

  • rate this

    Comment number 1437.

    @1380 - general.

    Be careful as not everyone in the financial services industry is a parasite/leech like the ones that caused the mess.

    The people that caused the mess are the mega rich bankers/financial analysts/traders.
    I'm not trying to get on at you but I earn less than £16,000p/a. While it's still a wage I hate people giving me abuse just because I work in a bank.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1436.

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

    If you measure "going the extra mile" by mere physical presence, you risk missing the really important measurements like genuine improvement of standards.
    This is more about subjective performance appraisal in order reduce cost, and it will lead to nepotism and deception.


Page 1 of 73


More Education & Family stories



BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.