Letters extra: Recognition for classroom assistants

12th April 2001 at 01:00

The role of classroom assistants is an important one, as your correspondents recognise ("Classroom assistants deserve higher wages", TES March 30). The Professional Association of Teachers has campaigned for many years for chartered teacher status to establish teaching on a more professional footing, with a series of steps of continuing professional development linked to increasing pay.

This concept has been recognised in Scotland following the McCrone inquiry. PATPANN is now calling on the government to recognise the professionalism of the whole school team and to establish a salary and training career ladder that recognises childcare professionals' abilities and responsibilities.

We would like to see the creation of chartered classroom assistants to give childcare professionals proper recognition, using a three-stage career and salary structure based on qualifications, experience and continuing training.

Alison Johnston
Senior professional officer, Professional Association of Teachers (PAT) Professional Association of Nursery Nurses (PANN)

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