A bigger scandal

Only a hopeless idealist would argue that the pay and conditions of school staff should be identical throughout England and Wales. The iron law of supply and demand dictates that there can never be a uniform deal for employees in London, Leicester and Llandrindod Wells.

Nevertheless, classroom assistants are entitled to be angry about the gross disparities that the TESUnison survey has revealed (page 5). It is patently unjust that many assistants earn less than pound;5 an hour while others no more qualified can earn twice that amount. But perhaps the bigger scandal is that some assistants are, like teachers, employed for 52 weeks a year while others are paid for only 38 weeks because they are classed as term-time workers.

If the Government really believes that classroom assistants now play a vital role in Britain's schools, it will ensure that this rank injustice is addressed without delay.

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