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Teachers’ Pay

Volume 473: debated on Monday 17 March 2008

The Minister for Schools and Learners made a written statement to the House on 15 January 2008 concerning the latest report of the School Teachers Review Body and our response. Following consultation on those proposals, we expect to make a further statement shortly.

But with one in 10 teachers having been physically attacked in the classroom, with more than 33 knife attacks on teachers, and with 75 per cent. of all teachers having been verbally abused last year, does the Secretary of State agree with Lord Adonis that future pay settlements should include some sort of bonus or performance-related pay that is linked to improving discipline in the classroom?

It is essential that we do even more to improve discipline in the classroom. We have taken substantial action, including in legislation, to ensure that we back teachers and give head teachers and governing bodies the power that they need to confiscate dangerous items and to act in and out of school. We will do more. That is why I have asked Sir Alan Steer to produce a report on the implementation of his report on behaviour and to suggest what we can do to improve behaviour further. When I speak to members of the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers at their conference next week, I will tell them that we are on the side of teachers in rooting out ill-discipline in the classroom and will give them the powers that they need. It may be a more serious issue than can be addressed through a bonus in pay: we will give teachers the powers they need to act, so that they can get on and teach.