We spotted this message from a supportive parent posted on the website of the Brighton Argus. It's beautifully expressed and nearly brought us to tears!
"Performance pay for teachers is a ludicrous idea - an affront to the very idea of what constitutes a good, rounded education in a healthy environment in which life is shared, discussed and discovered. You ask what makes teachers special. I should say that I am not a teacher, I am a grubby capitalist existing on performance pay and suchlike. Teachers are special because they are the custodians of our children's education and thereby the future of our civilisation. This massive responsibility they undertake for pretty low pay really. You don't become a teacher if you are motivated by money. I am lucky enough to have had some great, inspiring teachers whose positive influence I enjoy every day. My sons are now at school and I have the utmost respect for their teachers, some of whom have inspired them as my teachers inspired me. I'd never dream of accusing them of being "whiny" and "greedy", which is incredibly rude. They teach my children. They earn much, much less than, for example, greedy bankers or whiny Tory politicians. They deserve my support, and they get it. They are educating two people very, very precious to me in the world. Why would I want those teachers' endeavours to be subjected to free-market nonsense or indeed any interference from politicians (the skeptical questioning of whom should be one outcome of a good education)? In striking against silly, uncivilised government plans the teachers are protecting something very precious---our children's education---which is not whiny or greedy but brave and civilised"
Later on the same parent posted this in response to another commentator.
"I think you are right to point out that teaching is not simply "doing". It is much more subtle, complex and valuable than that. Like you I am a doer. I am a software engineer. As I am sure is the case with yours, the output of my job is rather basic and can be measured in a reasonably objective manner which means it can easily be managed by a performance-based, capitalistic framework. Our work has a basic output the production of which is undertaken to make money.