More than three-quarters of school staff are in favour of linking salaries to performance in the classroom, figures show, despite widespread opposition to the move from unions.
Almost half of teachers questioned said pay rises should be determined by pupils’ results, it was revealed.
The disclosure – in a survey from the Sutton Trust charity – comes just days after it emerged that the Department for Education has written to the body charged with reviewing teachers’ salaries in England, asking it to strengthen the link between performance and pay.
MPs on the Commons Education Select Committee have also supported the move, saying that changes are needed to stop the worst teachers “hiding” behind a rigid national salary structure.
It comes after an official report from Ofsted, the education watchdog, found that teaching standards were not good enough in four-in-10 schools – often leading to poor pupil behaviour.
Sir Peter Lampl, chairman of the Sutton Trust, which campaigns to improve social mobility, said the worst teachers should be required to take on-the-job training to bring them up to standard.
"It is right that teachers' pay should be related to their performance, and they should also be required to undertake professional development if they are not performing at an effective level,” he said.
“We need to strike the right balance between attempting to improve the performance of poorly performing teachers through professional development and our responsibility to safeguard children's right to being taught effectively."
The Trust surveyed 1,686 primary and secondary teachers in England as part of the study.
It found that 75 per cent of teachers were in favour of some form of performance-related pay.
Some 52 per cent said increases should be awarded to all teachers other than those judged to be performing badly. Another 23 per cent thought that rises should be reserved for the very best performers.
Only a quarter of teachers backed pay rises for all staff, although this plummeted to just one-in-10 among heads and deputy heads.
When asked how best to judge teachers’ performance, almost half of those surveyed said it should be linked to “the progress and results of pupils they currently teach”. Two-thirds backed a system of internal school assessment by more senior colleagues.
The results come despite claims from major classroom unions that performance-related pay rises would cause chaos in schools.
Earlier this week, the National Union of Teachers said it would result in staff attempting to exaggerate pupils’ progress to secure lucrative bonuses – causing “mutual distrust” in staffrooms.
It was also claimed that teachers would be required to “teach to the test” to boost results – leading to a reduction in productive lesson time.