Just a money-saving exercise

25th February 2005 at 00:00
Nick Mills, Year 4 teacher, fears that he could lose up to pound;3,500 of his pound;36,000 salary when the new allowances are introduced.

Mr Mills, who teaches at Haydn primary, Nottingham, receives three management points for being effectively an assistant head, in the absence of a deputy.

He is also the curriculum co-ordinator and describes himself as "the cheerleader" for the rest of his staff because of his seniority in the school.

He said: "What with changes in pension arrangements and now potential pay cuts, people will wonder why anyone would want to go into teaching. What will they do next? Take away our holidays?"

Paul Singh, who teaches Year 5, is also worried. He has a management point for heading information and communications technology and runs the cricket and football teams. His salary, after 25 years in the job, is about pound;32,000, but he expects this to be cut. "It looks like there are some things I will have to do in future out of goodwill because I will probably lose my allowance. I feel disillusioned, especially as a new Labour supporter. They won't be getting my vote in May."

Jim Green, the school's head, believes the new pay arrangements are a money-saving exercise which will give him the headache of deciding which of his staff will get a pay cut. He has 20 teaching staff, the majority of whom are experienced and have management allowances.

"The idea that people have been given extra pay that they are not entitled to is ridiculous," he said.

"Not everyone will be eligible for the new teaching and learning payments, so for some it will mean a pay cut.

"The unions have been trying to tell us how good this is going to be, but I just don't see it. It is just a money-saving exer-cise, which will systematically de-professionalise teaching and which has nothing to do with raising standards.

He dismissed plans for excellent teacher status. "I have many excellent and experienced teachers so to pick only one or two would be incredibly divisive."

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