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Politicians won't speak for pound;2,000

IT should surprise no one that threshold payments will neither attract anyone to teaching nor retain them (TES, September 22).

During the summer, it emerged that Charles Kennedy, leader of the Liberal Democrats, charges pound;3,000 for an after-dinner speech.

The threshold award, which is supposed to reflect all-round competence in a difficult job, is therefore worth just two-thirds of one politician's osh money on a single occasion. Ministers would have teachers believe that pound;2,000 is big bucks, but it only seems that way if your standard of comparison is a depressed salary. Only quality pay and sensible conditions will attract quality teachers, not hyped up small change and overload without end.

Dr Colin Butler

Senior English master

Borden grammar school

Sittingbourne, Kent

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