Hero of biggest pay day

26th September 2003 at 01:00
The civil servant who won teachers their biggest pay rise died last month at the age of 83.

Peter Sloman, former under-secretary at the Department of Education and Science and head of teachers' branch in 1974, persuaded ministers to set up an inquiry into their pay under Lord Houghton.

It awarded teachers 29 to 33 per cent rises the following year. However, Mr Sloman left the DES three months after the inquiry was set up and became education officer at the Association of Metropolitan Authorities.

In his new post he served on the local government employer side of the Burnham committee on pay, where he witnessed teachers losing relatively high salary rates due to rampant inflation over the next five years. He left the AMA and Burnham panel after a new pay inquiry was set up under Professor Clegg in 1980.

A civil servant of the old school (Winchester and New College, Oxford) Mr Sloman was modest and unassuming. But it was he who provided the then education secretary Reg Prentice with the arguments for linking teachers'

and nurses' pay, which led to the Houghton review.

He also framed some of the first teachers' pension regulations while at the DES.

Fred Jarvis, former National Union of Teachers general secretary, said Mr Sloman was one of the most able and intelligent civil servants he had known - and the most approachable.

"He had a major hand in securing the biggest single advance the teaching profession has ever known. It was not his fault that, sadly, it didn't last long."

Gordon Cunningham, his old Burnham colleague, called him "a born administrator and a glutton for work. He was a man of enormous stature with no concerns about status".

After he left the AMA, Mr Sloman worked as an administrative officer in Newham Council education department, where he carried through a secondary reorganisation, and in Surrey. Long after his retirement he continued to serve as a governor of Shene Mount primary in Richmond, London where he lived with his wife Barbara. He died on August 14.

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