Fairer for parents

Damian McNulty is one of the growing army of part-time teachers. Like thousands of others, particularly women, he has chosen to cut short his hours so he can look after his children.

Numbers of part-timers increased by 15 per cent during 2006, compared with a rise of 1.4 per cent for full-time workers. There are now 98,420 part-time teachers in England and Wales.

Mr McNulty works three days a week at Prescot County primary in Knowsley, Merseyside, so he can look after his four-year-old son Declan, and daughter, Nieve, two. His wife Vicky works three days a week as a radiographer.

He believes he is fortunate in his part-time pay, because he receives 60 per cent of his equivalent full-time salary. He welcomed the review body recommendation to "move towards a standardisation of approach to part-time teachers' pay and conditions".

He said: "I feel I can't grumble, as I am paid for the work I do and that is fair. But in other schools and authorities the set-up is not the same.

"It's very difficult for some as they don't get to decide when they work, and their pay may not be calculated on the number of hours they actually do."

Methods of calculating part-time pay differ across the country. Part-timers have complained they can go unpaid for preparation and other work. Those working on a half-day basis can also suffer, as mornings are longer than afternoons.

Kathy Duggan, aged 54, a part- time teacher at Marvels Lane primary in Lewisham, south London, said: "A fairer method of calculating pay will give people the choice to go part-time."

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