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Teachers rush to retire early

About 80 teachers in East Dunbartonshire have registered an interest in seeking early retirement before the April deadline for the Government's proposed pensions changes. The council, which has a no-redundancy policy, is about to agree to a premature retirement package.

Teachers aged 50 and over would be eligible for four years' enhancement of pension contributions which could cost the council more than Pounds 250, 000 during the next financial year.

Frank Healy, teachers' representative on the education committee, commented: "The major benefit is that it would allow teachers to avoid increased stress in the classroom and rejuvenate the teaching force, which is positive for all concerned."

South of the border the Association of Teachers and Lecturers last week won permission in the High Court to get an urgent hearing of its case that Gillian Shephard, Education Secretary, overstepped the mark in trying to slow down the teachers' stampede to retire before April.

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