Cash in the classroom

25th February 2005 at 00:00
Is your management allowance at risk? How do you feel about the prospect of a cut in pay? Dorothy Lepkowska garners opinions, while William Stewart reports on the reasons for the pay changes For the School Teachers' Review Body, this latest report provides the final prong in a "trident" of career paths for teachers, allowing them to earn pound;35,000-plus as managers, school-based advisers or subject experts.

The main thrust was the reform of management allowances. However, the creation of excellent teacher status and the call for more advanced skills teachers will allow ambitious teachers to boost their pay by concentrating on teaching skills. Promotion from being a "bog-standard" teacher now comes in three forms: by taking on management responsibilities; by becoming an AST with subject expertise and a duty to do outreach work; and as an excellent teacher, spreading good practice within a school.

The review body said: "The traditional complaint, that teachers who wanted to increase their earnings or take on a more demanding role had to take on management tasks, will shortly lose its resonance."

But Gerald Imison, deputy general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, said if the pathways are to work, schools must make proper use of the excellent teacher scheme.

"Having lost points four and five of the upper pay scale, if teachers are to be rewarded for staying in the classroom the funding must be there to allow the promotion of a substantial number of excellent teachers," he said.

The best classroom teachers on level three of the upper pay scale can now earn pound;35,000. Those who qualify will be expected to act as in-school mentors.

Ruth Kelly, the Education Secretary, is believed to be against post holders being called principal teachers, a review body suggestion.

However, the main concern for the 51 per cent of teachers receiving management allowances is whether they will qualify for the new teaching and learning responsibility payments (TLR). Many are likely to do so, but the process is not automatic.

Those currently receiving allowances for admin tasks, for recruitment or retention reasons or as rewards for good performance, will have their salary protected until the end of 2008.

To receive the new responsibility payments, they will have to prove their duties involve improving education beyond their assigned pupils; leading, developing and enhancing the teaching practice of others, and leading and developing a subject or curriculum area or pupil development across the curriculum.

Heads will have to revise their staffing structure by the end of the year to take account of the system. The new payments, available from September, come in two ranges. TLR1 is worth between pound;6,500-pound;11,000 and only available for line managers of a "significant" number of people and TLR2 is set at between pound;2,250-pound;5,500.

The review body has asked the Government for advice on how to address head of year and pastoral responsibilities in the new system, and how to decide the level of payment for management posts.


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