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Thursday, 26 April, 2001, 12:55 GMT 13:55 UK
Pay bonuses for school heads
head teacher writing
Heads have been implementing new pay system
More than half of England's head teachers and deputies have had performance-related pay increases this year, the government has said.

The amounts - backdated to last September - were typically 1,000 for heads and 500 for deputies, on top of the general pay rise of 3.7%.

The Department for Education has provided 70m to support the costs of the performance-related increases as part of introducing the new teachers' pay system.

"At last the hard work being done by senior managers in schools is now being reflected in their pay packets," said the School Standards Minister, Estelle Morris.

"It seems the system we have put in place, which heads have worked extremely hard to help us implement, is being used effectively and objectively."


That new system also involves 2,000 performance bonuses for experienced classroom teachers who apply to "cross the threshold" onto a higher pay scale.

The Education Secretary, David Blunkett, told MPs during Commons education questions that more than 80% of the checks on whether those who had applied had now been completed.

His department estimated that 70% of those who were eligible for the new pay scale would move onto it.

The Liberal Democrats' education spokesman, Phil Willis, complained about the "waste of time" for schools in implementing the changes.

He said the government should look at the pay deal for teachers in Scotland - which promises pay rises of 21.5% over three years and moves them onto a 35-hour week.

"What matters is the conditions of service not the bureaucracy this government has heaped on them day after day," he said.

Scottish deal

Mr Blunkett said: "They may or may not in Scotland have a 35-hour week by 2006. Any party that advocates a 35-hour week on a 39-week years needs to be able to tell the electorate what resources they are diverting to pay for it."

This again sets the government on a course of conflict with teachers' unions in England and Wales ahead of talks starting next week about the scope of the independent review it has promised into teachers' workloads.

The two biggest classroom unions, the NUT and NASUWT, are expected to suspend their industrial action over the extra work caused by teacher shortages on Tuesday, as the talks begin.

They and the other main teachers' union, the ATL, all passed a joint resolution at their Easter conferences demanding a workload inquiry - backed by the threat of industrial action in pursuit of a 35-hour week.

See also:

02 Feb 01 | Education
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25 Jan 01 | Education
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13 Jan 01 | Correspondents
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