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As headteacher, I am faced with the allegation that our pay structure is unfair. The science co-ordinators have no management points, while the arts co-ordinator has two. I know that this is a fair reflection of the value of the teachers concerned. Are there national guidelines on the award of such points?

No there are not. Management points enable governors to reward teachers who take on management roles in addition to their normal work. The management structure in each school is established by the head, with the governing body's agreement.

One of the tasks that heads face is to avoid apparent discrimination between teachers holding similar responsibilities. This could well arouse resentment.

However, circumstances do differ and points may be given to retain a particularly valued colleague or a teacher of a "scarce" subject.

You can also use points to reward someone for additional work beyond the call of duty. If staff are concerned about the distribution of management points, union representatives are entitled to raise the issue. As head, you should be ready to give them the reasons for your decisions. If you are not, you may need to look again at your structure.

Questions for this column should be addressed to: Archimedes at The TES, Admiral House, 66-68 East Smithfield, London E1W 1BX or The writer's confidentialitywill be respected

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