Wednesday, October 24, 2012

A “Race to the Bottom”: the Perils of Regional Pay

Sometimes numbers speak louder than words.

In Parton, West Cumbria, 40% of households don’t own a car.

This statistic has numerous consequences for this isolated rural community – not least its children. In an OFSTED report some years back, inspectors commented on the low aspirations and narrow horizons of pupils in the local primary school, St. Bridget’s School. Many children had not even travelled into the Lake District – less than 10 miles away.

The school responded to the report by initiating a diverse and enriching programme of school trips – often subsidised by school funds. A subsequent OFSTED report rated the school “Outstanding” – a recognition that raised the spirits of the whole community – and transformed the lives of its children.

Our Conservative-led Coalition believe that the problem with places like Parton is that people earn too much money. Specifically, they believe that if the salaries of the teachers at St. Bridget’s School were cut to bring their “quality of life” into line with their London counterparts, then this would provide a much-needed boost to the private sector who would find it easier to hire staff on lower wages.

Clearly, this is perverse. Reducing teachers’ salaries in Parton would make it harder to recruit and retain quality staff capable of providing an “Outstanding” education. Encouraging private sector employers to hire on lower wages would suck money out of the local economy, reduce people’s spending power and, in turn, hurt local businesses. It would be a “race to the bottom” – and no-one in Parton would win.

Places like Parton need bigger, more imaginative solutions: local governments with vision and strategy; national governments prepared to invest in infrastructure. And teachers able to inspire children to greater things than they ever thought possible.

Rachel Stalker

1 comment:

Chris said...

The problem is that Ofsted is meaning less with regards to a good teacher or not a Outstanding on Ofsted means at that point when the auditor was there you jumped through all the right hoops.

It does not mean you able to teach or even educate young people it mean you know how to work the system you.

I accept that it not really what your talking about and I agree teachers should be paid for being a good teacher but don't use something that is caculated on a single day to judge if a teacher is good or bad ask those that they teach look at their preformance over the year understand that they meed the needs of the people they teach not some checklist of what is believed a teacher should do.