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Saturday, 28 April, 2001, 23:20 GMT 00:20 UK
Students vague about teachers' pay
Teacher recruitment stand
Ministers say the recruitment drive is working
Potential recruits to teaching underestimate how much new teachers earn by 20%, according to research.

A study for the Teacher Training Agency (TTA) and the Department for Education found that the average amount most students thought a new teacher outside London would earn was 13,332, while the estimate for London was 15,305.

The actual figures, for new teachers with at least a 2nd class honours degree, are 17,001 outside London rising to 20,001 in inner London.

About 360 prospective teachers - students and people considering a career change - were questioned for the study, which was carried out in January.

This government has made teaching a more attractive profession

Estelle Morris, School Standards Minister
The government says the research shows that many people do not realise the improvements which the government has made to salaries.

The School Standards Minister Estelle Morris said: "This government has made teaching a more attractive profession by introducing training bursaries and golden hellos.

"As well as the higher starting salaries and management allowances, prospects have improved with performance related promotion up to a maximum salary of 31,000 for those who want to stay in the classroom.

"This research proves how important it is to get these messages across."

Ministers routinely say that classroom teachers can now earn up to 31,000. But the way they will progress up the new, higher pay scale is still to be agreed.

The pay review body suggested four increases of 1,000 for "substantial and sustained achievement" - starting after two years, and not being awarded annually.

Increase in inquiries

The Teacher Training Agency reports that more people are enquiring about becoming teachers as a result of the recruitment campaign, "Those who can - teach".

In March, the Teaching Information Line received an average of 1,177 calls per day.

And, according to the March figures from the Graduate Teacher Training Registry (GTTR), the number of graduates applying to train as teachers has increased by 24% on the same time last year.

The National Union of Teachers welcomed the reports of an increase in inquiries and applications, but said more needed to be done to improve teachers' pay.

John Bangs, of the NUT, told BBC News Online: "I'm delighted that more people are ringing up and applying.

"But the average starting salaries are still 2,000 lower than comparative professions."

He said talk of averages masked the fact that there were wide variations in salaries, linked to qualifications and subject.

The chief executive of the TTA, Ralph Tabberer, said: "Teaching is changing fast, and there is unprecedented interest in joining the profession, especially among people aged over 30 and considering changing careers.

"But we face stronger than ever competition from the private sector as we aim to attract the brightest and best graduates.

"Our recruitment campaign will continue to highlight the recent salary improvements and incentives introduced to support the unique emotional rewards which teaching offers, to ensure that everyone is no doubt that there has never been a better time to become a teacher."

See also:

11 Apr 01 | Education
07 Mar 01 | Education
13 Jan 01 | Correspondents
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