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A short trip to higher salaries

HUSBAND and wife Mustafa and Jodie Hassan teach just five miles apart in east London.

They come home to their Walthamstow terrace to the same cost-of-living worries and talk over the same sorts of classroom problems. Their schools share a similar pupil profile.

But this year Mustafa will take home pound;1,293 more than Jodie as his school is in inner London, which now has a separate salary scale.

Mustafa,35, who teaches art and design at Brampton Manor, East Ham, will get basic salary of pound;30,000. Jodie, 29, a humanities and citizenship teacher at Norlington school in Waltham Forest will be on a basic salary of pound;28,707.

The couple, who married last year, are bemused. Mustafa said: "It hasn't created any tension between us because luckily Jodie earns more than me on management points. But it is unfair. It is a weird situation." Jodie said:

"It's madness. I think the whole innerouter London boundary is divisive.

We live in the same house, do the same job, but he gets paid a higher basic salary than me - because of a bit of geography."

The couple say the inner allowance will be a strong draw for teachers.

Norlington deputy head Pip Bayley - already struggling to fill four vacancies at the school - fears it will only make recruitment problems worse. Ms Bayley said: "We'll be lucky to get one applicant per post."

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