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Minister silent on pay fears

Wales's education minister Jane Hutt declined to comment this week on predictions of a below-inflation pay rise for teachers, saying it was not a devolved matter.

Teachers were still waiting for an announcement from Westminster as TES Cymru went to press on whether their pay will rise slower than inflation for the next three years. There is mounting outrage that teachers and other public-sector workers may have to take a pay squeeze when MPs look set for a bumper rise. Strike action has been threatened.

Pay and conditions is the last remaining educational power Westminster holds over teaching staff in Wales.

In a statement issued by Ms Hutt's press office, she chose to remain silent on the pay issue but added: "There appears to be no significant appetite within Wales for the devolution of these powers."

The School Teachers' Review Body advised the UK Government in October on the pay deal.

Ed Balls, children, schools and families secretary, delayed the expected decision this week, giving Prime Minister Gordon Brown time to persuade any MPs to accept a similar low pay rise.

- Susan Lewis, chief inspector of schools and training in Wales, has of course been at the helm of Welsh inspectorate Estyn for more than 10 years, not three, as we printed in our page 3 article last week (January 4). We apologise to Ms Lewis for the typing error.

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