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Pay is comparable, but not conditions

Teacher pay is back on the agenda, but it does not carry the concerns it used to. The advent of the Scottish Parliament and the consensus with the unions over the post-McCrone agreement will not be lightly broken. The Educational Institute of Scotland was always convinced the parliament would make a substantial difference and it now enjoys an amicable relationship with other key players. It is in the circle.

Thankfully - as the EIS is well aware - we are miles away from the situation south of the border where all teachers have to undergo a performance review from their headteacher to gain a rise. But pay will never be significantly out of line. In England, 2.5 per cent is the going rate. That will be more or less the same in Scotland. Similarly, the new high point on the upper scale in England is pound;31,600 a year, which looks remarkably close to the projected Scottish upper limit.

In England, teachers can earn up to pound;35,000 if they are "excellent" teachers. In Scotland, we have the chartered teacher scale. The key difference is that in Scotland conditions of service are significantly better.

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