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Quartet of pay queries

AS chairperson of the National Primary Schools Association, I would like to respond to the Government's pay offer for teachers by asking four rhetorical questions:

* Do you really believe that the 2.9 per cent pay increase will actually encourage more teachers to join the profession?

* In the light of the research that indicates that 1 in 6 teachers aged 25 to 29 left the profession in 2001, will the pay rise actively encourage those remaining to stay in 2003?

* Does anyone think that London's congestion charge is conducive to improving the recruitment and retention issues for schools, helping solve the teacher shortages in our capital?

* Will these pay awards be fully funded by the local education authorities at primary level, so that schools' budgets are able to cover the salary increases?

AR Lovatt

Chairman

National Primary Schools Association

Headteacher

Vale first and middle school

Worthing

West Sussex

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