Fair funds, for the children's sake

11th February 2000 at 00:00
On the subject of the pay deal education minister Estelle Morris' says that "Teachers went into teaching to work with children and to raise standards. The age-old complaint", she continues, "was that society did not reward that. This settlement does." (TES, February 4)

If she is correct, then two things follow. First, if society is now paying the price for good education, we can expect an end to boot sales and tokens to subsidise schools.

Second, we can expect a flood of applicants into the profession. Pardon me if I don't hold my breath.

It is interesting to see the difference of opinion between David Blunkett and local government about the affordability of the "pay boost of 11 per cent". I wonder if Mr B know the realities of local government funding.

While Graham Lane and the Secretary of State slog it out and search for the moral high ground (and the ready soundbite) teachers' jobs are at risk. Rather than recruiting more teachers into the profession many will be forced to leave. They will have lost out to the fast-trackers, and the threshold teachers who have absorbed the funding which is still inadequate for the needs of our children.

For heaven's sake - or rather the children's - both sides must commit themselves to fair funding for the service they both claim to want.

Andy Garner

Executive member for Suffolk

Association of Teachers and Lecturers

31 Hatfield Road

Ipswich, Suffolk

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