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Pounds 11,000 a year? If only I...

UP TO Pounds 11,000 for classroom assistants? ("Who's paid what in education?" TES, October 23). You must be joking.

I train assistants working in primary schools and the usual rate of pay is between Pounds 4 and Pounds 4.50 per hour. At best, weekly pay is Pounds 112.50 and since there is no holiday pay this makes an annual salary of Pounds 4,500.

Classroom assistants do valuable work and it's high time this was recognised. We are poised for a rapid expansion in the number of assistants in our schools. Tony Blair has spoken of 20,000 new assistants by 2002. The rate of pay must be increased very substantially to ensure good assistants are recruited and retained.

John Coe

National Association for Primary Education

155 High Street, Chalgrove, Oxon

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