Higher staff pay may mean larger classes, says Ofsted

Sir Michael Wilshaw Sir Michael Wilshaw says schools cannot have small classes and a highly-paid staff

Related Stories

Head teachers may have to increase class sizes if they are to pay the best teachers higher wages, the chief inspector of schools in England admits.

Sir Michael Wilshaw said schools could not afford "highly paid" staff while keeping class sizes small.

A new system of performance-related pay is being introduced for teachers in England from September this year.

The move has met with resistance from teachers, but the government says it is vital to recruit and reward the best.

Speaking at a seminar organised by the think-tank, Reform, Sir Michael, former head of Mossbourne Academy in Hackney, London, said: "The good heads know they have got these additional freedoms and will reorganise.

"[As] an ex-head teacher, I always said to the staff, 'I want a highly-paid staff, I want to reward those of you who are prepared to commit yourself to the school and do a good job in the classroom.

"To do that, might mean that we have larger classes. You can't have both. You can't have small classes - small groups - and a highly-paid staff.

"It might mean that head teachers have got to make [that choice]… So negotiation with the staff is going to be important."

'Invidious choice'

On the issue of performance-related pay for teachers, Christine Blower, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said: "This is an invidious choice no head teacher or governor would want to make.

"It gives the lie to the idea that changes to teachers' pay are a free chance for heads and governors to pay 'good teachers' more. The simple fact is there is no more money in the pot."

A spokeswoman for the Department for Education said: "It is vital that schools can recruit and reward the best teachers.

"We are reforming pay so schools can attract and retain the best teachers who have the greatest impact on their pupils' achievements.

"We expect heads to be able to judge what is best for their pupils."

Teachers' pay rises have previously reflected their length of service, but under the new reforms, there will be a stronger link between achievement and pay progression.

Advice to head teachers from the Department for Education suggests teachers' performance might be measured on their impact on pupil progress and on wider outcomes for pupils, improvements in specific areas, such as behaviour management or lesson planning, their impact on the effectiveness of other staff, as well as their wider contribution to the school.

More on This Story

Related Stories

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

More Education & Family stories



  • Elderly manSuicide decline

    The number of old people killing themselves has fallen. Why?

  • Petrol pumpPumping up

    Why are petrol prices rising again?

  • Image of George from Tube CrushTube crush

    How London's male commuters set Chinese hearts racing

  • TricycleTreasure trove

    The lost property shop stuffed with diamonds, bikes... and a leg

  • Boris Nemtsov'I loved Nemtsov'

    A murder in an atmosphere of hatred and intolerance

Try our new site and tell us what you think. Learn more
Take me there

Copyright © 2015 BBC. 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.