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Paper trail

It is simply wrong to say that heads are "having to rely on union representatives to get a copy of the latest teachers' pay and conditions document" ("Union reps sent key pay advice", TES, October 21).

Not only is the document available online ( but every school in England can request a free copy from the Department for Education and Skills. More than 2,000 schools have ordered copies. The DfES publications site ( explains how schools can obtain a free hard copy from Prolog - or they can phone 0845 60 222 60.

All schools should have received an email on September 6 about these arrangements.

Your article also grossly misrepresents the costs. In fact no extra costs have been incurred to the department, which printed exactly the same number of copies of the document as in previous years. We did, following discussions with our Rewards and Incentive Group partners, make available a proportion of the print run to the NASUWT to distribute to members. But this is an additional means of giving schools access to the document and not a substitute for those established by the department.

Jacqui Smith, MP. Department for Education and Skills, London SW1

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