THE Government will send an emergency package of money to councils next week to speed up performance-related bonuses for teachers, giving them a backdated lump sum of around pound;500.
A few could even get their money before Christmas. Education and Employment Secretary David Blunkett will release pound;140 million to local authorities, even though the new pay arrangements do not come into force until December 13.
Hundreds of teachers this week received the good news that they had passed the performance threshold. External assessors visited 51 schools this week and confirmed that the majority of applicants should get the money.
They join those who were successfully assessed before the National Union of Teachers' court action blocked the new pay arrangements. They will now qualify for a pound;2,000 pay rise and a place on a performance-related pay scale of up to pound;30,000. Most, however, will not get the money until the spring term.
Every education authority is to receive the funds next week, based on the number of applicants in their area as most teachers do not yet know whether they have been successful.
Teachers at the 170 schools first processed, most of which are in Bradford, should be the first to get the lump sum.
A Bradford spokeswoman said the council would do its best to get the money out quickly but that it was unlikely that the payment would arive in time to be included in December's pay packet.
Schools will eventually receive pound;2,001 plus costs via their LEAs
for the extra pay of each teacher who successfully crosses the threshold. There is no quota and the costs will be fully funded by the Government.
Next week local authorities will receive one third of the funding needed to provide every applicant with the rise backdated to September.
They will receive monthly payments in January and February, also based on applicant numbers. In March payments will be adjusted "in the light of actual success rates" in individual local authorities.
Meanwhile, the teaching unions are still hoping to thrash out the details of the scheme with ministers.
Both the National Union of Teachers and the the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers want the new "review" procedure to be altered to full right of appeal.
The NASUWT is also concerned that teachers who have taken sick leave could lose out under the new threshold regulations.
The new order requires teachers to meet the threshold standards "throughout" a period of two to three years.
The previous order, which was quashed by the High Court in July on the grounds that the government had failed to consult properly, demanded only that teachers "broadly" meet the standards "during" the relevant period.