7th April 2000 at 01:00
"I have just been awarded advanced skills statusand wonder if it is worth moving on to the advanced skills teacher scale when, presumably, I am nowqualified to cross the threshold and receivethe pound;2,000 salary increase."

"Your uncertainty is understandable. Advanced skills teachers, the DfEEsays, are 'deemed to have crossed the threshold'. If you have passed the AST assessment process but are not yet in an AST post, you are therefore technically entitled to move in September to the new upper pay range at a starting point pound;2,000 above your April spine point salary.

"In some circumstances that might look like an attractive proposition, but we don't yet know how ASTs will be assimilated to the new AST scale. The School Teachers Review Body says that governors may need to review individual rangs in the light of the threshold system changes. If they want to keep their ASTs, they may be wise to do so.

"Remember too that an AST's job and career development prospects will be different from those of a teacher on the new upper pay scale, and the contractual arrangements reflect this.If your ambition is to progress as a class teacher without taking on management responsibilities, then theAST could be the routefor you.

"Though there are only some 600 ASTs currentlyin post, the Government expects their number torise sharply. You can find the AST website at There are also AST information lines on 0171 925 57895766."

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

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