Falling through the pay gaps

I Have heard that the new pay structure, designed to reduce the time taken to reach the threshold level, was to benefit teachers with three to five years' experience but, on first inspection, it doesn't help me.

I am in my third year of teaching and on point 4 of the scale. According to the proposals, I will therefore start at spine point "M3" in September. A quick calculation tells me that it will still take seven years for me to reach threshold from when my teaching career began.

In addition, although claims that the pound;6,000 training grant with a further pound;4,000 for shortage subjects may sound great to entrants, I will be faced with repaying the pound;3,000 student loan which I had to take out to cover the cost of my training. I will not even begin repaying this loan for three years as I am currently paying off the student loan for my undergraduate study.

If the Government really wants to do something constructive to boost the morale of teachers with three to five years' experience, they could perhaps begin with some real incentives for us.

A good start would be to eliminate the debt incurred by students who undertook PGCE courses before the training allowances came into force. Further, they could ensure that, by starting teachers on a higher pay spine, we too reach the threshold in five years rather than seven.

Graham Byrne 65 Wolseley Road Preston Lancashire

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