Poll: Do teachers have a good starting wage?

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General Chat Thread, NUT Strike 24th April in General; My 0.02. Teachers already get paid adequately for what they do (considering the starting salary of 20k and them being ...
  1. #31

    webman's Avatar
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    My 0.02.

    Teachers already get paid adequately for what they do (considering the starting salary of 20k and them being able to quickly and easily progress) and support staff do not.

    So teachers have to adapt to new procedures, teaching methods, curriculum etc. So what? Technology evolves and moves at an even quicker pace and we learn and adapt to these quite easily.

    So they "only" get 13 weeks holiday a year. Most of us get 25 days.

    They get PPA/NCT; essentially paid coffee breaks. We do not.

    And what are these "better conditions" that they keep asking for - what's wrong with their current conditions? 8:30 - 3:30, an hour for lunch, no responsibilities for "admin" tasks... They don't know when they're on to a good thing.

  2. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by webman View Post
    My 0.02.


    They get PPA/NCT; essentially paid coffee breaks. We do not.

    And what are these "better conditions" that they keep asking for - what's wrong with their current conditions? 8:30 - 3:30, an hour for lunch, no responsibilities for "admin" tasks... They don't know when they're on to a good thing.
    PPA/NCT; paid coffee breaks - you have to be joking - I could hand on heart say I would find very few of our staff having a coffee break during this time. Most genuinely use this time to do school work. E.g A Head of Year is on PPA/NCT, incident happens - they are dealing with that. A 50 minute period soon disappears up the arse of misbehaviour as one colleague said.

    An hour for lunch - again I know virtually no staff here who have that - most are running clubs, on duty or chasing their arse on some other errand.

    I think as others have said we need to be fair here. It is a tough job. Those that complain should perhaps consider changing careers and becoming teachers if it's such a doddle. I know I wouldn't swap!

  3. #33

    webman's Avatar
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    Oh come on, the "if you don't like it, change" is pathetic. There are many reasons why wouldn't choose teaching or another career. I'm just saying our job is just as complex and difficult as a teacher's; and we are as responsible, if not more, than teachers - so therefore we should get paid accordingly.

    If teachers get the pay award that they want, is the Govt really going to say support staff can have what they want, too? I don't think so.

  4. #34

    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    The 13 weeks holiday is a myth.

    Take in to account the teachers that are in over holidays doing revision or coursework sessions, not because they haven't done a good enough job during the lessons, but because Govt targets drive schools to hit targets that are often unreachable without changing the whole background of a community (see contink's post).

    Yes ... once you work out the average time spent doing other things you get to a figure that WITCH gave ... and yes, one of the reasons people in public sector jobs is down to the perks which balance out the wages being slightly below 'industry'. Performance related pay ... it does exist. Competency procedures for crap teachers / HoDs ... it is there. There was a major change in performance reviews last year making it easier for schools to get rid of the dross, but it puts a great deal of pressure on the senior leaders in the school to turn a teacher around before they get to that stage.

    Govt attendance targets mean that whilst the admin of a classroom teacher is meant to go down, the admin of a tutor increases. This is why there is such a big push on technology to play a part in attendance. The Learning Platform agenda from the Govt is aimed at driving change in the curriculum, increasing the ability of students to work at their own pace (helping to deal with those that get bored due to lack of challenging materials), it is designed to help schools engage with families more (again, helping attendance) and the next push is real time reporting ... looking at giving direct access to attendance and progress data to families. All designed to get parents back on board.

    Where does the teacher fit in with this? Technology is not seamless. It breaks ... it is often not fit for purpose and has to be redesigned ... it relies on too many different factors at times. The people that end up dealing with the grief it can generate are the teachers. Reports not saving properly ... you will just have to type them in again ... for a third time. The grade you put in does not match what the parent can see? You will have to ring them and give them the right information ...

    Teachers do have a hard time ... *so do we* ... perhaps if we were more supportive of the teachers they would be more supportive of our claims to better pay and conditions (and for what it is worth, the LA pension scheme is actually going to work out slightly better for me than a teacher's one would!)

  5. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by webman View Post
    Oh come on, the "if you don't like it, change" is pathetic. There are many reasons why wouldn't choose teaching or another career. I'm just saying our job is just as complex and difficult as a teacher's; and we are as responsible, if not more, than teachers - so therefore we should get paid accordingly.

    If teachers get the pay award that they want, is the Govt really going to say support staff can have what they want, too? I don't think so.
    Much as we are important the reality is we have no direct responsiblity for students or their education. In no way are we more responsible than teachers. Yes we should be paid well but the jobs are not the same.

    And i don't think my comment was pathetic - if you don't like the terms and conditons, pay etc of public sector work then move on - I did when I had a job I didn't like. More pathetic is the view that things like PPA are "paid coffee breaks"!

    The "13 weeks off, finish at 3.30" is Sun reader mentality!
    Last edited by jcollings; 2nd April 2008 at 07:26 PM.

  6. #36

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    Well said Tony.

    Surely the debate here should be Is pay fair for all of us? not this attitude that teachers shouldn't get more money because we dont.

    Working in education isn't an easy touch for any of us, and I personally like to think that we can all work together - and it happens in my experience.

    And no, I'm not a teacher, but I do have several good friends who are, and they certain work a lot harder and longer hours than the general opinion seems to be here.
    Last edited by crc-ict; 2nd April 2008 at 07:36 PM.

  7. #37

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    @jcollings

    Whilst I agree with most things you have said, we *do* have direct responsibility for students and their education.

    Whether it is access to facilities that are used by the students to learn or teachers to teach, the ethical responsibility that comes as part of control of filters or access to resources, or the academic responsibility of making sure the facilities and resources are fit for purpose.

    We may not have direct responsibility for classroom management (but we may assist with this through things like remote control software, desktop client security from product such as Securus, etc) or for delivering the curriculum (though we may assist with or create resources used, or manage or support environments used to deliver the curriculum such as VLEs), we still have a level of responsibility. It may vary from school to school ... but it is there unless your school has expressly said that you have no responsibility at all ... in which case there is little or no difference between you and the person replacing you under BSF ... which is why BSF can work for some schools.

  8. #38

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    I agree with you to a point but the bottom line is if a group of kids all get F in their GCSE it is unlikely to be our door that the heads comes knocking on.

    Sure we play a big part in the school but I've never been challenged cos my CVA score is rubbish etc.

  9. #39

    SimpleSi's Avatar
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    They get PPA/NCT; essentially paid coffee breaks
    Only if they're lazy and inept - good teachers use it to try and balance their stupid work/life balance during term-time.

    regards

    Simon

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    jcollings (2nd April 2008)

  11. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    The 13 weeks holiday is a myth.

    Take in to account the teachers that are in over holidays doing revision or coursework sessions, not because they haven't done a good enough job during the lessons, but because Govt targets drive schools to hit targets that are often unreachable without changing the whole background of a community (see contink's post).
    You have made a giant mistake there, assuming the majority of teachers work in GCSE/A-Level classes. The largest number of teachers are KS1 - KS3. These don't have major worries about revision, coursework and the like. For many of these teachers, the 13 week holiday is most definitely not a myth. For example, I know of 2 of our NQT's who went on 4 week holidays over the last summer, never come in during holiday time etc...


    Yes ... once you work out the average time spent doing other things you get to a figure that WITCH gave ... and yes, one of the reasons people in public sector jobs is down to the perks which balance out the wages being slightly below 'industry'. Performance related pay ... it does exist. Competency procedures for crap teachers / HoDs ... it is there. There was a major change in performance reviews last year making it easier for schools to get rid of the dross, but it puts a great deal of pressure on the senior leaders in the school to turn a teacher around before they get to that stage.
    Performance related pay for teachers does not exist in the same way as it does in industry. Not by far. It is still far more difficult to be fired for incompentence in teaching than it is in any industry job.

    Where does the teacher fit in with this? Technology is not seamless. It breaks ... it is often not fit for purpose and has to be redesigned ... it relies on too many different factors at times. The people that end up dealing with the grief it can generate are the teachers. Reports not saving properly ... you will just have to type them in again ... for a third time. The grade you put in does not match what the parent can see? You will have to ring them and give them the right information ...
    Most times, i'm sure you will agree, that technology doesn't work is down to the teachers not choosing suitable tools for the jobs they wish to do. Every single ICT failure in our school of this type is down to people not bothering to check with me before going out and buying $random software and then demanding it be put on a network they know nothing about.

    Teachers do have a hard time ... *so do we* ... perhaps if we were more supportive of the teachers they would be more supportive of our claims to better pay and conditions (and for what it is worth, the LA pension scheme is actually going to work out slightly better for me than a teacher's one would!)
    From what I've seen of teachers, I would say that many teachers only seem to have a hard time due to their own faults. I am forever seeing teachers stressed over the most pointless of little things, or stressed over problems they created by not having done their jobs properly in the first place.

    Sure, teachers do planning in their own time. Sure they take work home. But that amount of work does not suddenly mean that they work more than those of us who work full time, end up doing call-outs, end up being needed for parents evenings, school functions etc... There is a definite inbalance between teachers and everyone else.

  12. Thanks to localzuk from:

    webman (2nd April 2008)

  13. #41

    webman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcollings View Post
    Much as we are important the reality is we have no direct responsiblity for students or their education. In no way are we more responsible than teachers. Yes we should be paid well but the jobs are not the same.
    Remove the IT Support provision from a school and see how they manage.

    I don't believe teachers should be getting any more - they already have adequate deals while we, in general, don't. Just look at how Job Evaluation has shafted a lot of us ICT Technicians and Network Managers in schools. All I'm trying to say is that I think decent support staff pay should be prioritised before giving in to the teacher unions stamping their feet and making some noise.

    Obviously not all teachers are the same and it would be incorrect to tar them all with the same brush regarding the short working days and numerous "free periods". I'm just generalising

  14. #42

    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    @localzuk

    Fair enough point about KS1 and 2 ... though some primary friends would strenously disagree (they tend to fall into the *damn* good teacher bracket though and they *do* need to get a life!). KS3 ... some subjects can get away with things, but core subjects can't. Also, a number of schools will now look at pushing the start of examination courses into year 9 or even have a 2 year KS3 ... which means that the workload is high. Other teachers in schools that don't operate like this can see it coming as the successful schools get good results like this. (actually successful schools get good results for a number of reasons but, like lots of other things, this is seen as a change that will make the difference ... as long as you don't forget the other 23 things the successful school did and forgot to tell you about ... perhaps because they still want to be better than other schools ... sorry, being cynical again).

    Firing teachers is not hard. Stopping them winning at tribunals because someone cocked up the paperwork is. If a school does the PM right and has dealt with the situation properly you find that the teacher does not have a leg to stand on within 6 months or has moved on. 6months may seem a long time but this is looking at poor performance, not breach of contract. It can take a football club years to get rid of rubbish players. Other industries have their own methods ... some are damn fast, other aren't. Teachers are longer than most but if someone makes a major cock-up then yes .. they are easy to get rid of. It is also worth noting that *we* are just as difficult to get rid of. We have all heard stories from existing (and former) members who have had to work with or under some right numpties who don't know their RJ45 from their zx81.

    Teachers and the wrong tools ... why are they allowed to buy those tools? Why don't they go through you? Failings of Senior Leadership or yourself to put the proper processes in place should not be thrown back at teachers. (ok .. a bit heavy there but just to show that just because it does not work for you the way it should it does not mean that others should be labelled that way.)

    Teachers get stressed because of workload; lack of support from further up the chain; having to deal with the kids, their parents and the general public; the mad drive to meet Govt targets and changing Govt agendas (which can often conflict with one another depending on whether you work closely with the LA or people like SSAT!)

    Yes, teachers get stressed if someone is wrong because they failed to plan properly ... they are not unique like that. It affects us to ...

    And as for having to do call-outs, parents' evenings ... you can get paid for it or time off in lieu ... if you don't they have a strong word with your union rep about your contract. Don't get taken advantage of. Teachers are known to start work at 8 (catching up with parents dropping kids off), have a complete day teaching ... have to do the morning break duty as part of a roster, teach a lunchtime group and them have meetings in the evening finishing at 5 upwards (in spite of union guidelines saying no more than one meeting a week of 1 hour max!)

    Some schools seriously abuse teachers in the same way we get abused (note your need to stay behind some evenings).

    Again .. I do admit that this varies from Dept to Dept. Written coursework in English and Humanities will take longer to mark than Maths. Drama productions take up huge amount of time to get sorted. PE Fixtures after hours ad at weekends take up time ... and many PE departments now teach BTEC course too ... so there is a good chunk of marking in there, and good PE teachers plan more than people think, it is just that we tend to remember the rubbish ones that use to make us all go out and do cross-country running.

    Yes ... I am married to a teacher and slightly biased on this ... I have worked in a school where teachers were employed to stay onsite until 5, but tended to be there until 6 to work with students ... I have seen the stress, the burnout, the evening and holiday work. I am not saying everyone is like that ... but that is the direction that the Govt is pushing for teachers to go ... extended schools ... VLEs ... home access ... students can learn anytime, anywhere.

    Yes ... teachers know they are getting shafted and will be shafted even more in the next couple of years.

  15. #43

    webman's Avatar
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    Teachers get paid enough to deal with all of those "issues". Where as we have comparable if not more complex issues to deal with; but generally get paid a lot less.

    Tony, you couldn't be more biased if you wanted to

  16. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    From what I've seen of teachers, I would say that many teachers only seem to have a hard time due to their own faults. I am forever seeing teachers stressed over the most pointless of little things, or stressed over problems they created by not having done their jobs properly in the first place.
    All I can think to say is that your school must be truly awful for you to have developed that opinion of teachers.

    Most of the very real stress I've seen in my fiancee and other friends or colleagues in the profession have been a direct result of poor or downright criminal management through a wide variety of problems, none of their own making. Sure they whinge from time to time about silly stuff, but high blood pressure at 27 and another seriously considering anti-depressants to cope is hardly someone forgetting to check that powerpoint is working for the lesson.


    @Webman
    Just because we're married to or marrying to a teacher doesn't just make us biased it makes us better informed.

  17. #45
    contink's Avatar
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    Couple of other points to make and I'll try to be as dispassionate as I can about this as I'm getting angry at the generalisation.


    1. KS1 and KS2... You have to be able to teach ALL the curriculum which means mastering the materials for a wide range of subjects, planning, etc... and dealing with all the latest initiatives.

    2. KS2 is positively brimming with work especially in year 6. SATs ring any bells? The work involved is monumental especially as this is the schools statistics score talking... The pressure is unbelievable for these teachers and I know at least 2 staff in two different schools who work five 14 hour days pretty much all the time.

    Perhaps it'd be worth basing your opinions of primary teachers from actual extended periods of observation and action instead of falling back on the old generalisations of little kids = less responsibility/work/etc...


    3. NQT's invariably arrive after their PGCE which is a year of unmitigated hell where a social life is non-existent because of all the paperwork and the NQT year is no better... Planning in triplicate the way it's supposedly possible for all people to do it.. One teacher showed me their workload... turned out to be around 1 hour prep, 1 hour delivery and 1 hour marking/follow-up for a single hour of classroom time when done to specification. He's a new father and just had to say scr*w this and now downs tools at 5pm till 8pm so he can spend time with his family then the books are up again. Heck after all that wouldn't you go on a 4 week holiday, think of it as time in lieu...


    Sure I'm biased... it'd be nice to have more in the house account but frankly I think my fiancee and many others would be happier if the job was actually about educating and not about filling out some stupid statistics report.

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