21st April 2000 at 01:00
Four of us are qualified to apply for threshold assessment but we are daunted by the complications of the process and by our uncertainty about what should be included.

Our head has offered to discuss our applications with us, but is this wise?

Your head's suggestion is well meant but it is almost certainly ill advised.

One or more of you may fail, in which case questions might be asked about the nature of the advice that you were given. It would be far better for information and advice to be given to you openly and collectively. It wouldn't lessen the disappointment of failure but it would make subsequent recriminations much less likely.

It's understandable, though, that a school that takes the career development of its teachers seriously will want personal advice to be availabl. Given the number of potential candidates, your deputy head is unlikely to be involved in the assessment process. Why not ask him or her to check your form against the guidelines included in your application pack?

I taught for 1 2 years in secondary schools and for the last nine at a sixth form college. What are the arrangements for me to cross the threshold?

Threshold assessment is open to all qualified teachers in England and Wales, provided they are covered by the School Teachers Pay and Conditions document.

Sixth-form college teachers are covered by FE scales and contracts. At present there are no comparable proposals for them.

Michael Duffy E-mail your questions on pay to: Michael Duffy regrets that he cannot enter into personal correspondence.

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