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Friday, 2 February, 2001, 13:03 GMT
What the teachers' pay report says
The report from the teachers' pay review body says the evidence to it this year showed "sharply increased levels of concern about teacher vacancies".

It has sought to address this, particularly with higher starting salaries.

The report also says there is flexibility for schools to give extra rewards to good teachers.

But it stresses that there needs to be enough money getting to schools to make these a reality.

Shortage worries

The review body says in its 90-page report that the issue of shortages was given further prominence after it had finished formally taking evidence, in submissions from the teaching unions.

Other worries emerged in "unsolicited letters" from individual schools, and in media coverage.

That is why the review body has made particular recommendations on starting salaries for new entrants to teaching and on London allowances.

These put the minimum starting salary at 17,001, with 20,001 in inner London and corresponding figures in the London fringe areas.

The report points out that training salaries of 6,000 are now paid to people on postgraduate teacher training courses, with a further 4,000 "golden hellos" in secondary school shortage subjects.

Funding concerns

But the report emphasises "the crucial importance of adequate funding".

"Funding levels are improving," it says. "Headroom above the cost of general increases in pay levels will continue to be needed if the new opportunities and flexibilities are to become a reality."

The review body says it has repeatedly drawn attention to criticism of the way schools are funded, via local education authorities, on the basis of a "standard spending assessment" - what the government thinks they ought to get.

"This is because increases announced centrally do not always reach schools, and because of variations in funding per pupil from one part of the country to another for some of which no obvious rationale is seen."


Traditionally many education authorities have spent more on schools than they were supposed to, "often at the expense of other services".

But in recent years this "overspend" has gone down - and up to a third of authorities now do not spend even that basic level.

"This has meant that the money actually reaching some schools has not increased to the full extent of the significant increases announced in central government funding," says the report.

It calls for urgent action on government proposals to make the system more "transparent" and fair.

All this has an effect on the realities of what teachers earn.

Other allowances

The report says schools now have "considerable flexibility" to award recruitment and retention allowances, ranging from 942 to 5,085.

But often schools say they have no budget for these.

The review body says double salary increments can be awarded for excellent performance by teachers to accelerate their progress up the pay scale, so that after seven years or less most teachers will be earning a minimum of 24,843.

They can then apply to "cross the performance threshold" onto the new, higher pay scale, getting an immediate rise which has been increased this year by 3.7% to 2,076.

Eventually the higher scale could take teachers to 31,128.

"By this stage of their career, the majority of teachers have a management allowance, under our recommendations, of at least 1,539 or in many cases 3,111 or 5,343," the report says.

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