Research by Richard Murphy on teacher quality and the effect on pupils influenced the Education Secretary's decision to open up for performance-related pay for teachers.

Mr Richard Murphy at the ESRC Centre for Economic Performance collaborated with the Sutton Trust to produce a report that summarised research on teacher quality and the effect on pupils, and methods of measuring teacher effectiveness.

Aimed at practitioners and policymakers, the report made recommendations about the use of classroom-based measures of teacher effectiveness. As a result the recommendations were accepted by the government, influencing the decision of the Secretary of State for Education to give schools the freedom to set pay in line with performance and to heighten the selectivity of teacher training routes.

Mr Murphy illustrated large variations in teacher effectiveness and that they cannot be easily seen outside of the classroom. He recommended that a more flexible promotion and pay system in line with individual talent could improve the effectiveness of teachers and with this the potential to attract and retain more high-quality applicants into the profession.