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BBC Scotland's Alan Mackay reports
"This pay deal is certainly getting top marks from everyone involved"
 real 56k

Professor Gavin McCrone discusses the deal
"What the government have actually offered goes some way beyond our own proposals in our report in terms of pay"
 real 28k

EIS General Secretary Ronnie Smith
"I don't think we should be suspicious because there is a commitment to invest significantly in our education"
 real 28k

Chief political correspondent John Morrison
"It looks very, very good on the face of it"
 real 28k

Friday, 12 January, 2001, 09:54 GMT
McCrone welcomes teachers' pay deal
Jack McConnell
Jack McConnell welcomed the deal
The 21.5% pay deal which looks set to accepted by Scotland's teachers has been welcomed by the man whose report paved the way for a settlement.

Professor Gavin McCrone chaired an independent committee of inquiry last year which reviewed teachers' pay and conditions.

His report was submitted at the end of May, and now forms the backbone of the deal which looks certain to end three-years of troubled talks between teaching unions, local authorities and the government.

On Thursday, the salaries committee of the Educational Institute of Scotland - which has 80% of Scotland's teachers on its books - voted to accept the three-year, 21.5% package.

Professor Gavin McCrone
The McCrone report was completed last year
Education Minister Jack McConnell will hold more talks to finalise the agreement, which will then be put to union members in a ballot.

He said he believed the deal would attract more people into the profession.

Professor McCrone said he was very pleased his inquiry findings had been adopted by the Scottish Executive and, in some cases, surpassed.

He told the BBC's Good Morning Scotland programme: "I think they have got a very good deal here.

"What the government have actually offered goes some way beyond our own proposals in our report in terms of pay."

He added: "I am very pleased. I think it's very unusual for such a large proportion of the recommendations of an independent inquiry to be adopted by the government."

Ronnie Smith
Ronnie Smith: "It's a very good offer"
The package offers teachers 21.5% over three years, 10% of which will be in the first year. New teachers will start on 18,000 per annum.

There will also be 4000 new teachers, and additional support staff to help reduce the burden of paperwork.

More money will be available for new chartered teachers, who will have to get extra qualifications but will remain in the classroom.

A new winding-down scheme will also be introduced for those approaching retirement, while the probationary period for new teachers will be reduced to one year.

Professor McCrone said teachers would have to work more flexibly than under the previous system.

"The old arrangements specified in the most astonishing detail how much time should be spent in each activity," he said.

Teacher in class
Scope for recruiting more teachers
"That has now been made much more general, and I think it will result in a much more flexible profession.

"They are also having to be prepared to undertake serious training and development."

EIS General Secretary Ronnie Smith told the BBC every member of the union would be receiving a 50-page document outlining the proposals.

"I think it's a very good offer," he said.

"When teachers see the detail and are able to appraise it in the round, they will see it's a good investment in them, and good for Scotland's kids and Scotland's education.

"This is an investment in professionalism, and that is exactly what we want to see."

Mr Smith denied that there was any "catch" involved and said: "I don't think we should be suspicious because there is a commitment to invest significantly in our education service.

"It is desperately overdue and necessary to get teaching back on a professional footing and make sure that we can recruit and retain sufficient numbers of teachers."

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See also:

09 Jan 01 | Scotland
McConnell gives pay assurances
08 Jan 01 | Scotland
Teachers' pay talks break up
10 Jun 00 | Scotland
EIS backs boycott ballot
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