Motivating teachers with incentivised pay and coaching: Understanding factors influencing participant recruitment failure
Feb 5, 2018
After recruitment issues had led to the cancellation of a randomised controlled trial on the impact of incentivised pay on teaching in the UK, RAND Europe conducted a follow-up investigation exploring the reasons behind the recruitment difficulties. The study found that a combination of teachers being resistant to the principle of financial incentives and a lack of awareness about the trial were key reasons why recruitment had been unsuccessful.
While performance-based compensation systems in primary and secondary education are no longer a novelty in the US, they are still not yet common in the UK. Research from the US finds mixed results regarding the effects of performance-related pay on pupil achievement, but there is limited evidence around this concept from the UK.
Therefore, RAND Europe, in collaboration with the University of Cambridge, was commissioned by the Education Endowment Foundation to conduct a randomised controlled trial to explore the impact of incentivised pay and peer coaching in the teaching of mathematics. The incentive payment would have been in addition to normal teacher pay, with the final amount being dependent on the performance of pupils in the end of year tests. Coaching was included as part of the study on the basis that some teachers might be motivated by pay incentives, but might require support to improve their performance.
However, the study faced difficulty recruiting teachers for the study and due to this reason was subsequently cancelled. A follow-up investigation of the factors associated with the difficulties with recruitment then took place.
The follow-up study found that a combination of teachers being resistant to the principle of financial incentives and a lack of awareness about being able to participate in the trial were key reasons why the recruitment strategy had failed initially.
Findings from survey, document review and interviews
Conclusion and recommendations