Heads' leader wants trainees to be paid
David Hart, general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, said he would make the proposal in evidence to the teachers' pay review body next month.
He said the Government had already accepted the principle: it will pay Pounds 11,000 to trainees on the fast-track route for mature graduates.
"I don't see why the review body shouldn't pay teachers who are taking the more acceptable route into the profession," said Mr Hart. He said students in their final year, or on a PGCE course, should be paid the unqualified rate and then move to point 2 of the scale (about Pounds 14,500) on achieving qualified status.
"We need to do something radical to attract recruits. Similar schemes operate as common practice in other professions," he said.
Shortages are particularly acute in maths and science subjects at secondary level, with applications down by 20 per cent. School-leavers applying for teacher-training places were down by 11 per cent, which could place in jeopardy the Government's plans to reduce class sizes for primary pupils.
The Teacher Training Agency, which warned ministers about shortages before the election, is due to launch its first nationwide "high-profile recruitment strategy" in October to attract good quality candidates.
Department for Education and Employment officials have discussed backdating part of a newly qualified teachers' pay, which would give them a wage in their final year.