Assistants need national guidance

As a group of teachingclassroom assistants, who all work for the same local education authority yet work a different basic week and receive different rates of pay and holiday entitlement, we must stress the need for national guidelines.

We would like to see the Government include the following points in such guidelines:

* A national pay scale: why should there be such a difference, depending on which area of the country you live in?

* Nationally recognised qualifications which should be reflected in the pay

* Holidaysickness pay

* Annual increments We really want to shake off this image of "Mum's Army" and be respected for our abilities and our qualifications, as highlighted in the recent Office for Standards in Education report, which showed how beneficial we are when effectively used within the school.

Michelle Gallagher, Sue Jones, Hilary Cohen, Joanne Gallagher, Victoria Mill Adult Learning Centre Lower Vickers Street Miles Platting, Manchester

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