Don't I deserve a pay rise?

7th January 2005 at 00:00
I taught in industry for 25 years but I'm now getting on well in my new career. On the graduate teacher programme last year, I taught a 70 per cent timetable, went to five parents' evenings, covered 15 lessons and helped my head of department on several initiatives. Yet the school will not recognise my effort with any financial reward this year.

On account of my work history, I have been placed on point M3 of the salary scale. Even though last year was a training year for me, I still saved the school some pound;25,000, and I feel that should be recognised. Call me a grumpy old man, but is it normal for schools to dump on folk and not reward them?

A: You need to think again about how the public sector works. Unless there are incentive schemes tied to saving money, then savings benefit the whole community. A head could argue as follows: new teachers are paid on the lowest point of the scale, so only NQTs will be employed, thus saving the school a tidy sum in staffing. Should the head be rewarded for that? Or should the money be used to employ more teachers?

You have achieved more than many newcomers by being paid on point M3 at the start of your career. The examples you cite of your commitment, such as your attendance at parents' evenings, are a normal part of the job.

Leadership is about ensuring the best use of public money. I do not believe that giving bonuses to those who effect savings is the best way to create a world-class education system.

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