19th January 2007 at 00:00
Q I am a new teacher, but with lots of commercial experience. However, I did not query being put on M1(pound;19,691) when offered my job because I did not feel confident enough. Now I want to ask the head if the governors will consider giving me an extra point in September to move me on to M3 (Pounds 22,899) instead of M2 (pound;21,195). I feel my experience should count and I feel more confident in my role too. Other new teachers with similar experiences obviously negotiated their salaries, and are on an extra point.

What should I do? I like the school and don't want to rock the boat, but worry I will start to become resentful. Is it likely that I would get a point or is it generally accepted that it all needs to be sorted at the start?

A This seems to be a case of being wise after the event. Normally this type of discussion takes place before a first appointment. However, if you could argue that your duties have changed between year one and year two, it might still be possible for the school to offer an extra point if the new duties were relevant to your previous experience. An alternative is the opportunity a school has to offer an extra point, "if your progress is excellent during your NQT year". I don't know of many schools where this discretion has been used.

There is also the Fast Track route to consider, as this offers additional salary benefits. If the school is not prepared to help, and I would not hold your breath, then you could start looking for promotion in your second year in the classroom based upon the fact that you have lots of experience before becoming a teacher. There is no point becoming resentful over what is essentially a problem of your own making. The school had no need to ask you whether you wanted your previous experience taken into account when calculating your initial salary: the onus was on you

John Howson is a recruitment analyst and visiting professor of education at Oxford Brookes University.

To ask him a question, email him at askjohnhowson@tes.co.uk

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