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Last Updated: Friday, 11 November 2005, 15:01 GMT
Teachers polled about pay changes
classroom scene
The new focus is on teaching and learning
Changes to schools' staffing structures in England and Wales are bringing threats of strikes from unions.

The National Union of Teachers is asking members in 40 schools in England whether they would be willing to strike over changes to allowances.

It stressed these ballots were indicative - "a shot across the bows".

Most schools are successfully implementing the move to new "teaching and learning responsibility" payments, under which some staff will lose money.


The change involves a focus on teaching and learning, rather than pastoral and administrative duties.

The current five allowances for management responsibilities, which are being scrapped, range from 1,638 to 10,572.

The new payments - known as TLRs - are payable at two levels ranging from 2,250 to 5,500 and from 6,500 to 11,000.

In some cases staff are being transferred across.

In others, they may have to compete with colleagues and are not guaranteed to get the money.

Those who now have allowances but do not get the new ones will see their payments phased out over three years.

The restructuring has to be completed by the end of the year in England.

In Wales, where National Union of Teachers (NUT) representatives have also said there are problems, the deadline has been extended to the end of March.

'Saving money'

The NUT stresses that to organise a strike, a separate ballot would have to be conducted, which would be in the middle of next term.

A spokeswoman said a lot of schools had been "behaving sensibly" but in others the union had had to intervene and in 40 this had not yet resolved the issues.

She said the whole restructuring had "significant problems" and was about saving money rather than benefiting the pupils.

The other big classroom union, the NASUWT, does support the changes but is also threatening industrial action where it does not agree with what schools are doing.

It is organising one ballot, in Derby.

The Secondary Heads Association is reported to have said it expects legal action from staff in London angry at losing management allowances.

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