EXPERIENCED classroom teachers in inner London could be earning more than pound;40,000 within six years, if ministers accept their advisers' recommendations.
The Government is expected to back the proposal of the School Teachers' Review Body of a separate salary scale for inner-city teachers, to head off threats of further strikes in the capital.
The starting pay would be set at pound;21,522, an increase of 3.8 per cent on the current pound;20,733 figure, which includes pound;3,105 for inner- London cost-of-living allowance.
But by the top of the scale, teachers can expect to be earning pound;39,093, an increase of 21 per cent on the current pound;32,250. The threshold bonus, currently worth an extra pound;2,148, would rise to pound;4,000. With a single extra salary point for management, pay at the top of the scale will exceed pound;40,000.
The new pay structure would replace the inner-London allowance. But outside the city centre, the allowance will be retained and rise by 10 per cent.
This is worth an extra pound;204 a year to teachers in outer London and pound;79 in areas on the city's fringe.
The National Union of Teachers last week threatened the possibility of three-day strikes in selected schools if the review body did not propose "significant" increases in London allowances.
The union has been campaigning for a year for the allowance to rise to pound;6,000. The new structure equates to much less for newly-qualified teachers, though experienced staff will do better.
The review body plans to return to the issue of pay rates in other areas of the country, including the contentious question of the possibility of whether individual schools should set salaries, next year.
Unions claimed this week that the Government has not allocated sufficient cash to its controversial performance-related salary scheme for senior staff.
Headteachers' leaders last year called off industrial action after ministers allocated pound;90 million to performance pay, which was estimated to fund 80 per cent of eligible staff to progress up the upper pay spine. But several authorities claim they are receiving enough to allow nearer 60 per cent to benefit.
Gerald Imison, deputy general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, said: "Schools which were waiting for the money before making decisions (on who progresses) will be forced to make them on financial and not professional grounds."
The review body will urge the Government to improve the quality of its statistical evidence on teacher vacancies, arguing that the use of inappropriately qualified staff to fill classroom gaps does not show up in the figures.
In his annual report, the chief inspector of schools, David Bell, highlighted evidence to show that although schools can award recruitment and retention points, primary heads, in particular, think the practice divisive. Secondaries are more likely to use such allowances, particularly in shortage areas.
Newly qualified teacher: pound;21,522.
Teacher at top of pay spine pound;39,093
Outer London: pound;2,247
London fringe: pound;871