Staff may resent returner bonuses

29th June 2001 at 01:00
WELCOME back bonuses of up to pound;4,000 will be paid to ex-teachers who return to the classroom, even though the Government's pay advisers have major reservations.

The School Teachers' Review Body finally backed proposals for the bonuses this week, but it is worried that existing staff will consider them unfair, especially when many returners would have come back anyway.

Returning teachers of secondary subjects that face the biggest staff shortages will get pound;1,000 up-front and pound;3,000 after a year. Other returners will get pound;500 immediately and pound;1,500 a year later. In order to qualify staff must have taught fewer than 16 days since April 2000. Teachers who have already returned this term will be eligible for the cash.

Ministers have set aside pound;26 million over three years for the bonuses. They admit 10,000 ex-teachers already return each year.

The review body's report asks if the bonus "is the most effective use of the resources available". Many teachers would have returned anyway, and some serving staff will consider the bonuses unfair, it says.

It concludes that targeting cash at individual schools would be better and warns: "Short-term incentive initiatives complicate an already complex pay structure without necessarily addressing the more fundamental issues." The Department for Education and Skills says it is putting a long-term recruitment strategy in place.

The bonuses will be available in Wales but funded only in England, renewing concerns about the implications of devolution.

The review body recently complained to Education Secretary Estelle Morris about the increasing number of extra reviews, such as the one about returners' bonuses, that it is being asked to conduct on top of its annual report into pay and conditions.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today