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Easy payments for chartered status

TEACHERS who can't afford a pound;1,200 accreditation charge for chartered status will be able to spread out the cost by paying pound;100 a month.

Many of the 5,800 teachers at the top of the basic scale who have expressed interest will be able to use a three-stage payment system: pound;300 on application, pound;300 on acceptance and pound;600 for assessment and certification.

They will also be able to opt out and save money if they feel they are not making progress or withdraw for other reasons.

Several teacher members of the General Teaching Council for Scotland reported strong staffroom opposition to the fees but May Ferries, past president of the Educational Institute of Scotland, said: "Education does not come free: someone has to pay for it."

Douglas Weir, deputy GTC convener and former dean of education at Strathclyde University, said that with two module credits teachers would be "in profit" through salary enhancement.

But Patrick Boyle, a Paisley primary head, replied: "It's quite a lot of money to have a leap of faith with. I am worried that a lot of people will be put off because they do not know if they will be successful."

Bruce Heil, finance convener, said that neither route - the academic path or accreditation - guaranteed success.

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