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research suggests teachers are best judged by exam results

4 March 2013

The Sutton Trust has published a study which concludes the most effective way of judging teacher performance is through the results of their pupils. This was compared against classroom observation and student surveys.

The study comes shortly after the Government confirmed it would fundamentally change teacher’s pay by scrapping pay rises based on length of service and focussing instead on performance. It concludes combining all three measures provide the most reliable and trusted outcome. However, the study recognises head teachers need to use discretion to consider other factors such as whether a particular class is abnormally disruptive and outside contributions such as management or extra-curricular activities.

Assessing on the basis of results is an objective criteria. This approach means on the face of it, schools may reduce the risk that they would be challenged for not comparing teaching staff on a fair basis when deciding what to pay them. Whether schools want to encourage a culture of assessment by exam result remains to be seen.

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