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Wednesday, 23 January, 2002, 19:55 GMT
Rise is not enough say teachers
science class
Teachers are disappointed with the award
A pay award of 3.5% for teachers in England and Wales is not enough and will not solve the problem of teacher shortages, teaching unions have said.

The National Union of Teachers (NUT) says ministers should have done more to raise the status and morale of the profession.

The union's general secretary, Doug McAvoy, said: "The government has done too little to prove to teachers that it has sufficient regard for their work.

"Sadly, the increase of only 3.5% for all teachers is still well below the growth in average earnings."

We are still struggling to compete in the market for graduates

Nigel de Gruchy, NASUWT
Although the NUT wanted a bigger pay rise, it was pleased with a change to teachers' pay scales, which will mean faster progression to the level awarded to senior classroom teachers.

Mr McAvoy said: "The recommendations of the government provide the first signs of its recognition of the problems of teacher recruitment and retention, but they do not solve the problem.

"Particularly welcome is the decision from September to reduce the time it takes to reach the top level for classroom teachers.

"This will help narrow the gap between salaries for teachers and for graduates in other occupations."

Teaching abroad

One newly qualified teacher, Inge Tait, told BBC News Online teachers' wages should be doubled.

She recently left a school in Welwyn Garden City because she said she was frightened of the pupils.

She is now teaching at another school in Hertfordshire and, with the 3.5% increase, says she will earn just under 18,000 a year.

"At my last school I was sworn at every day," she said.

Tom Bradley
"Pay teachers the money they deserve," says Tom Bradley
"Three and a half per cent for that. I wasn't enjoying the work, it was an ordeal.

"I hope to teach abroad one day."

Daniel Lyndon, a teacher at Henry Comtpon School in London, is also disappointed with the award.

"The last pay rise was 3.7% so it has gone down," he said.

"It doesn't reflect average earnings and it won't be enough to attract new teachers into the profession or retain good teachers."

Nigel de Gruchy, the general secretary of the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT), described the pay deal as a "mixed bag," with some good and bad points.

He said: "I welcome the fact that the rise is above inflation but I'm disappointed that we are back to the old bad habits of falling behind the average increase, especially for white-collar workers.

Daniel Lyndon
Daniel Lyndon: "It's very disappointing"
"We are still struggling to compete in the market for graduates."

Tom Bradley, who also teaches at Henry Compton, has been in the profession for 23 years.

He said: "The increase does not fairly reflect the work teachers are doing.

"I think I speak for many when I say we are not in it for the money, but if you are going to keep people in teaching and treat us as professionals, we should be paid as professionals."

The Liberal Democrats' education spokesman Phil Willis said pay was not the only issue in recruiting and retaining teachers.

"They must reduce teachers' workload, reduce class sizes and return creativity to the classroom," he said.

Local authorities will have to find around 250m extra to fund these increases

Damian Green, Conservatives' education spokesman
"Money alone cannot encourage people to enter the profession."

The Secondary Heads Association (SHA) has said the 3.5% increase for classroom teachers will make little or no impact on heads' efforts to recruit and retain staff.

But the general secretary, John Dunford welcomed what he said was the increased flexibility over head teachers' pay.

He said: " We pressed very hard for this in order to enable governing bodies to retain heads who would otherwise have to move schools in order to gain any substantial increases in pay.

"At last governors will be able to reward heads appropriately for additional responsibilities."

Budget problems

The Conservatives' education spokesman Damian Green said teachers deserved a generous rise - but he did not know how this increase would be funded.

He said the government had only allowed councils an increase in teachers' pay of 2.5%.

"When you include extra associated costs, today's announcement means that local authorities will have to find around 250m extra to fund these increases," he said.

"Will this be paid for out of cuts in the education budget or in the budget for other services?"

Graham Lane, of the Local Government Association, said school budgets would be hit because central government was not covering the pay award in full, but was leaving education authorities to cover the 280m shortfall.

He said: "It will mean a stand-still budget for most schools instead of growth."

See also:

23 Jan 02 | Education
02 Feb 01 | Education
22 Jun 00 | Teachers Pay
12 Sep 00 | Education
21 Dec 01 | Scotland
14 Aug 01 | N Ireland
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