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EDITIONS
Teachers Pay Friday, 20 October, 2000, 12:11 GMT 13:11 UK
Ceiling becomes threshold
teachers in front of class
Experienced teachers can choose whether to apply
The current ceiling on classroom teachers' pay becomes what is called a threshold - offering the opportunity to move onto a higher pay scale.

As ministers have often repeated, nobody is being forced to do this - it is entirely up to each teacher whether or not they want to apply to cross the threshold.

If they succeed in doing so, they get a rise of 2,000 and access to a higher pay scale.

The timescale for everything to be done to get the new system operating became so tight it slipped.

Teachers in England had to submit their applications by 5 June.

Head teachers had until the following Friday to notify the applications to the private firm handling the external assessment process, Cambridge Education Associates Limited (CEA).

Following union protests, the Department for Education said heads could accept applications up to 14 July if they thought either that applicants were confused about the deadlines or their "personal circumstances" had made it difficult for them to meet the 5 June deadline.

Head teachers then had to consider and either endorse or reject the applications by 31 July - but schools with more than 40 applicants had until the autumn half-term holiday to complete the process.

Court challenge

All this was scuppered by the High Court ruling on 14 July that the government had acted illegally over key aspects of the changes.

In response, the government put the changes out to consultation through the School Teachers Review Body.

Following that, there is a new timetable by which head teachers in England will assess the applications at the start of 2001.

Ministers have always promised that the pay rises will be backdated to 1 September 2000.

But many teachers would not have had their applications considered in time for them to get the extra cash they have been promised by 1 September anyway.

In practice, the government did not expect many of them to go through until early 2001.

Different timetable in Wales

In Wales, everything is running later than in England.

Teachers now have to submit their application forms by 16 March 2001.

Head teachers put in their recommendations on who should get the rise during the summer term.

As in England, the threshold pay rises will then be backdated to September 2000.

Links to more Teachers Pay stories are at the foot of the page.


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