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Charter for discrimination in pay

Those of us who have beavered away for years in our own time and at our own expense to gain higher degrees are left wondering what exactly we will be expected to do now in order to gain the long-overdue remuneration and recognition promised to chartered teachers who engage in a programme of professional development.

Are we going to be sent on some Mickey Mouse batch of courses that will be cobbled together, supposedly before August 2003? Who will deliver these and who will pay for them? Might some of us find that these courses will be presented by individuals who are less qualified than we are? Are we going to be told that qualifications gained before March 2001 don't count? Or will we be told that we can just join the bottom of the chartered teachers' scale, then work our way up incrementally?

Surely, a higher degree in discrete subjects or in the field of education is the ultimate goa of this profession's professional development? But can any one of us realistically envisage a main grade teacher currently earning pound;23,313 automatically being launched to the top of the chartered teachers' scale of pound;35,199? The document implies this could be the case, but has the arithmetic been done?

Before I vote "Yes" I need some answers. If the powers that be really do have a commitment to ensuring that highly qualified, experienced teachers remain in the classroom, instead of seeking better pay through the managerial route, then they will have to put their money where their mouth is.

A U-turn on this, once the sums have been done properly, will be a complete betrayal.

Pauline Connolly MA Education, BA Hons, Advanced Diploma in Child Development, Advanced Diploma in Language and Literacy, PGCE.

(Main grade English teacher at St Andrew's High School, Kirkcaldy)

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