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concerns raised over exam achievement links to teachers’ pay award

27 August 2014

September 2013 changes to teachers’ pay meant that pay progression was no longer automatic and schools could set their own criteria for determining progression which could include exam results.

This has raised concerns, particularly surrounding the pressure on teachers to achieve the best results in order to gain maximum progression, which it is feared may lead to inflated marking. There is also concern that exam results are a ‘narrow view’ of what teachers actually achieve and should not be viewed in isolation. The issue of different ability cohorts further complicates any assessment of exam success.

It is, however, undeniable if you look at a school's ratings that the ultimate ‘acid test’ relates to achievement in exams and some argue that this is the most appropriate area of a teacher’s performance to focus on.

Whilst opinions may differ, it is fair to say that a huge majority of teachers work very hard to ensure that their students achieve to the best of their ability, irrelevant of whether their pay will be affected or not.

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