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Friday, 12 January, 2001, 20:51 GMT
Brain drain fears over teachers' pay
Teachers' pay graphic
Scottish teachers chalked up a 21.5% wage rise
Fears that a pay deal for Scottish teachers could compound recruitment problems south of the border have been voiced by unions.

They have warned that there could be a brain drain from England after their Scottish counterparts secured a new package guaranteeing a 21.5% increase in their wage packets.

And two unions have called for a maximum 35-hour working week to be extended to the rest of the UK.


I think morale of teachers in England and Wales will be severely depressed if they do not get at least equal treatment

Nigel de Gruchy, NASUWT
A teacher shortage has already caused problems for schools south of the border, with London and the south of England facing the most severe recruitment problems.

Some schools have even been forced to move to a four-day week - and unions have warned that the Scottish pay deal could make matters worse.

John Bangs of the National Union of Teachers said some teachers living in the north of England could be tempted to cross the border by the 800m package approved by unions and local authorities on Friday.

"With 4000 vacancies being created in Scotland, there may well be choices made by teachers in England to go north of the border," he told the BBC.

The Scottish deal, which will now be put to union members in a ballot, offers teachers 21.5% over three years, 10% of which will be in the first year.

Teacher in class
Thousands of teachers will be recruited
New teachers will start on 18,000 per annum under the package, which has been welcomed by the Educational Institute of Scotland - the country's largest union.

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

Classroom teachers will be able to earn up to 35,000 a year - 5000 more than they can earn in England without switching into management.

The NUT's general secretary Doug McAvoy said teaching in Scotland was now a very attractive career.

"It will attract teachers from England who don't have any of the advantages in terms of the conditions of service that this deal offers," he predicted.

Working week

Nigel de Gruchy, general secretary of the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT) - which has about 2,000 members in Scotland - said the maximum 35-hour working week was the "most interesting" aspect of the deal.

He also warned that schools in England could now find it even harder to attract teachers.

The young teachers from Australia and New Zealand, to whom many schools turn to fill vacancies, would now be tempted to seek more money in Scotland.

Pay recommendation

"This sets an obvious example to (Education Secretary) David Blunkett and I think morale of teachers in England and Wales will be severely depressed if they do not get at least equal treatment," he said.

However, the Department for Education and Employment at Westminster said suggestions that teachers in England and Wales would receive a three or four per cent pay rise were purely speculation.

"We are still awaiting this year's pay award recommendations from the School Teachers Review Body," said a spokeswoman.

"The Scottish pay and conditions package for teachers is very different to that for England and Wales - direct comparisons of elements of these packages are not meaningful."

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 ON THIS STORY
BBC Scotland's Martha Fairlie
"The new jobs are likely to be introduced gradually"
See also:

12 Jan 01 | Scotland
09 Jan 01 | Scotland
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