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Cut pay rise wait 'to five years'

The review body is hearing evidence on the annual pay round and threshold assessment, writes Julie Henry

TEACHERS should become eligible for the pound;2,000-threshold payment within five years instead of the current seven, the School Teachers' Review Body has been told.

The National Employers' Organisation for School Teachers also said, in its submission to the review body, that the financial year should be changed in line with the academic year.

As well as undertaking consultation on the annual pay rounds, the review body is considering the threshold standards. This follows the Government's defeat in the High Court, which ruled that the pay changes should have been consulted on.

Both the National Union of Teachers and the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers insist that the review body should not scrap the applications that teachers have already made. The heads' associations are threatening rebellion if their members are forced to trawl through another 200,000 threshold assessments.

The NASUWT said the current threshold standards should remain, but be revisited next year, with a view to removing the link between pay and pupil progress. Eventually the new annual appraisal, rather than a separate threshold assessment, should be the route to gaining the pound;2,000 rise, it says.

The NUT wants changes now. Pupil progress should only be considered when it supports an application.

Only heads and senior managers need have a duty to assist in the assessment process and teachers should not automaticaly be turned down if they fail to met a

standard. An external appeals procedure for teachers should also be established.

The review body started to hear evidence on the pay threshold standards this week, while submissions on the annual pay rounds are still flooding in.

The employers' organisation, apart from calling for a condensed pay scale - enabling the threshold to be crossed sooner - also wants awards to be made in September rather than April from 2002.

NEOST also submitted proposals for a 10 per cent increase in the inner-London allowance and 5 per cent for outer-London.

Better pay levels at all stages, less bureaucracy and a limit on the working week are the classroom unions' main priorities.Headteachers' associations have called for the equivalent of the threshold rise to be awarded to heads and deputies - fully funded by the Government.

There is concern about the overall recruitment crisis and pay differentials between heads, deputies and senior teachers, now to be called assistant heads, in line with the five new management points.

David Hart, general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, said: "We need significant salary increases to get good graduates into the profession and to persuade people to become heads and deputies."

The review body will report to the Government on the threshold in October and gives its verdict on the pay round in January.

This week, local authorities demanded emergency special recruitment bonuses for schools with the most vacancies .

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