Is it fair to base a teacher's salary on a performance-related system?
What's your opinion of performance-related pay? Source: Miguel Henriques

There’s no doubt that teaching is both challenging and demanding.

Often, teachers are expected to play multiple roles in the classroom. From professor to counsellor, researcher to innovator, there’s an abundance of expectation placed upon their shoulders.

As a widely-respected profession, the question of pay remains a hot conversation topic worldwide. Questions like, ‘Are teachers being paid enough?’, and ‘Should teachers receive extra benefits?’, frequently circle online forums and articles in hope of a unified answer.

Global conversation about pay scales could be the key to change. Source: Rawpixel/Unsplash

What is performance-related pay and how would it affect a teacher’s salary?

In short, performance-related pay relates to the way a working professional is paid based on how well they perform.

As an alternative salary system, wages will vary based on the company’s expectations or the system’s regulations.

For teachers, if they were to experience a performance-related pay scale, it would mean their individual performance is reviewed regularly and matched up against the standards of others. If they do not meet the grades, they may miss out on a financial reward or a salary increase.

Why is this perceived as a negative system?

If you’re basing a teacher’s wage on their performance, problems will soon evolve from the set of standards that have been outlined by outside institutions and governing bodies.

People may interpret the standards differently, meaning that when a professor is being assessed, they may not be assessed fairly.

Another concern is the increase in competitiveness in the classroom. Teachers who are paid via this system may become bitter over other teacher’s rewards and will treat their profession as a race to the biggest pay cheque.

Alternatively, if the pay rise isn’t a huge amount, it may also trigger a lack of motivation. If the reward doesn’t have a major impact on a teacher’s annual salary, who’s to say they’ll take extra steps to improve their classroom environment or their students’ experience?

Of course, we must note that this will differ from teacher to teacher – not everyone is motivated by money!

What does the Global Teacher Status 2018 Index say about it?

Established by the London-based charity, The Varkey Foundation, The Global Teacher Status Index (GTSI 2018) outlined that not even 50 percent of people in the UK agree with this pay scale system.

In 2013, however, studies showed that more than half agreed with this system.

Perhaps the change is owed to the realisation that there’s already enough pressure on teacher’s shoulders, or that alternative reward systems have been rolled out with a fairer assessment structure.

What’s your opinion on the matter? Do you think a performance-related pay system should be pressed upon every teacher’s salary?

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