Patricia graduated with a 2:2 in maths in 1991 and got her first post the next year in the inner London school in which she had done her PGCE teaching practice. Her starting salary, including the London allowance, was pound;13,620 (compared with pound;17,778 if appointed today). Since then she has accrued seven additional increments for experience and has also been promoted. After four years in post she was given a responsibility point when she became deputy head of her department and this year she moved to head the maths department at a nearby comprehensive for an additional three points. Now aged 29, she earns pound;30,420.
Mark also finished his PGCE 1992 after six years working for a pharmaceutical company in the North of England, having earlier obtained a third class degree in biochemistry. He was unable to find a teaching post immediately as family commitments restricted the area in which he could apply.
He had a temporary contract in 1994 which was made permanent in 1995. Though he had previous relevant experience which might have increased his salary, he did not want to jeopardise his chances by asking for it. Mark, therefore, has only reached point six on the scale (pound;19,407) at age 35.
Julie worked as a special needs assistant for 10 years and completed her Open University degree (with honours) at the age of 32. Her PGCE, completed in 1992, led to an appointment in a local special school where her previous experience was valued. She was given three additional points for it as well as the extra point for teaching in a special school, so she began teaching at point six on the scale (pound;14,721). But in spite of seven years devoted service to her pupils she has only risen to point nine (pound;23,193) at age 40. She looks forward to being able to qualify for the new higher scale for classroom teachers.
Carol completed her BEd in 1992 and began her career in an inner city primary school on a salary of pound;11,184. Three years later she left to have a baby. With her child now starting school she has gone back to teaching three days a week. Her experience places her at point four, so her salary at 28 is three-fifths of pound;17,274 (pound;10,364). If Carol had taken maternity leave, which counts for future experience points, before returning to continue teaching part-time, her service would have been unbroken and she would now be entitled to be paid three-fifths of a salary at point eight (pound;21,804) and would be earning pound;13,082.