Q: I notice many adverts talk about London fringe payments or even "outer London allowance". What are these?
A: You may well ask. For the past few years there have been four separate pay scales: three cover the London area; the fourth relates to the rest of England and Wales. However, many schools, and even some local authorities seem not to be au fait with the arrangements and still use the former terminology of "allowance" in their adverts. This is both wrong and misleading to applicants who should be able to rely upon accuracy in job adverts. The difference is that allowances can be temporary while the pay scales are permanent. It's your salary that determines, among other things, your pension.