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Pay Qamp

I'm deputy head in a primary school, paid on point 3 of the deputies scale. I understand that from September I will move across to the new leadership group to the point immediately above my present salary. Our numeracy co-ordinator has two responsibility points, and hopes to cross the threshold to the new upper pay range, which will bring her salary to within pound;200 of what I'll be getting. Is this right and is it fair?

"Technically, you could be right. From September, governors will be required to set an individual salary range for each deputy in the leadership group. The starting point may be higher than the deputy's April salary, but it can't be lower. Common sense would suggest that it should be at least pound;2,000 above that level, but there is nothing in the School Teachers Pay Report to say it must be.

"What the report does say is that governors will be 'recommended to maintain appropriate relationsips' between new entrants to the leadership group, the existing deputy or deputies, and the head. The fact that two new spine points have been created at the top of the leadership group is a strong indication that governors will wish to do this by assimilating both heads and deputies above their minimum cross-over levels.

"But will there be extra money in the school's budget to pay for this? As yet, we just don't know. What is certain, however, is that the successful implementation of the new pay scheme depends heavily on the management skills of heads and deputies - and the Government knows it. What you fear is most unlikely to happen."

Since last week's column went to press, the Government has announced that in schools with 40 threshold candidates or more, heads must make their decisions by the end of October. Other timings are as reported.E-mail your questions on pay to: fridaytes.co.uk

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