Heads should not be our concern

19th January 2001 at 00:00
YOUR front-page headline "Governors clamour to raise heads' pay" (TES, January 5) both caught my eye and raised my blood pressure.

The article pointed out that a teacher who passes through the threshold gets a pound;2,000 pay rise and a place on a performance-related pay scale of up to pound;30,000.

It will be a pleasant change for experienced teachers to be on a pay scale with incremental rises once again, albeit very conditional. At the age of 53 I have had to depend for years on the generosity of various governments for any salary increase while my head, of similar age, is in the middle of a range of increments.

Of course, a post-threshold classroom teacher will have to work "smarter" to reach that attractive-sounding pound;30,000 salary - implying that those who do not are not "smart"! No dobt this will have an enormously beneficial effect on staffroom morale and boost recruitment even more!

That pound;30,000 figure is a little over half the salary of my head. To suggest that "senior managers" are worried by eroded differentials merely points out that they think that their job is much more important than what goes on in the classroom.

Chris Gale, the chairman of the National Governors Council, is quoted as saying "It is extremely unfair. There are no real incentives for headteachers."

If that is the case, I'm afraid that before that problem is addressed there must be some "real incentives" for classroom teachers put in place. Pupils will be taught if there is no one in the head's room, but not if there is no one to teach.

Tom Trust Redruth school, Cornwall

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