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Monday, March 2, 1998 Published at 07:12 GMT



UK

'Super-teachers' to receive super salaries
image: [ The 'super teacher' will be given incentives to stay in the classroom. ]
The 'super teacher' will be given incentives to stay in the classroom.

The government is to unveil details of its proposals for a new grade of 'super-teacher', which could attract salaries of up to £40,000.

So-called Advanced Skills Teachers (AST) would be the best in their profession, and the new grade would allow them to remain in the classroom rather than switch to management in search of higher pay.

The Education Secretary, David Blunkett, says he also intends AST teachers to spend at least a day a week in other schools, helping to spread their expertise.

Mr Blunkett said: "This new grade will reward the very best classroom teachers, encouraging them to stay in the classroom rather than taking up management posts.

"The introduction of this grade shows our commitment to rewarding the best teachers, and encouraging the brightest graduates to consider teaching as a career."

The plan has been praised by the School Teachers' Review Body (STRB), which called the recommendations "radical and innovative".


[ image: David Hart:
David Hart: "It would make it very difficult for schools governors"
But it has sparked a row with the teaching unions, who said the scheme would cut across salary differentials, and would create "divisions" in schools.

The General Secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, David Hart, said that whilst the implementation of a new salary to recognise expertise would be widely welcomed, the proposed salary structure would inevitably create problems.

"If this is a starting point towards a salary level for teachers that will attract the brightest and best graduates into teaching, then it is to be welcomed," he said.

"But as it is proposed, it would make it very difficult for schools governors to appoint these new posts, without creating great difficulties of differentials with head teachers in small primary schools and deputies and heads of department in secondary schools."

The General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, Doug McAvoy, has also criticised the government for "rushing headlong into this when it is not clear how the scheme will work".

"There will be big problems created by cutting across the management structure in schools, and the structure of extra pay for additional responsibilities," he said.

So far there are no indications of how many AST posts are expected to be created.






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