Cost is no object

As Tony Blair and his ministers pump extra billions into schools south of the border and in return demand massive structural change, Scotland quietly goes about its McCrone jigsaw, filling in the missing pieces of the national agreement with the consent of the teaching profession. The extra pound;4.1 billion Jack McConnell, our First Minister, will enjoy from this week's comprehensive spending review will undoubtedly help fund the longer-term aspects of the McCrone deal, such as chartered teacher status. This will bring a heavy cost and Mr McConnell knew that when he signed the deal. Now, he seems ready to honour it.

North of the border, higher salaries come with no assessment of performance by senior management as they do in England. However, to win chartered status and even larger financial rewards, teachers will have to demonstrate experience, commitment and skills and a drive to improve. That is the same as performance pay by another route that is more appealing to teachers. It's just we do things differently.

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