Talking point

14th February 2003 at 00:00
Fulham Cross school is a 600-pupil 11-16 comprehensive in west London. It is surrounded by some of the most expensive property in London. Adi Bloom canvassed staff views on the pay deal.

Jan Cartwright, head, is in her 50s, has been teaching for 37 years, and earns more than pound;60,000: "While extra money is welcome, it won't address my problems.People with families cannot afford to buy property in London. I'm putting adverts in and getting no applications at all."

Jim Grealy, head of English, 56, has taught for23 years. He earns pound;39,000: "As head of department, I find myself training new people every year. Younger teachers move out of London soon after they are established as teachers. The latest increase isn't enough for young teachers: if they're going to stay, they need at least pound;6,000 extra."

Emma Williams, textiles and special-needs teacher, 26, has taught for three years, and earns pound;24,000: "I often work at weekends and stay behind after school. I put in the hours, so I want to be rewarded properly.

There's still no way I can save the pound;15,000 I need for a house deposit here. I'm going to have to move out of London."

Caroline Usher, 31, key stage 2-3 link teacher, has taught for for seven years and earns pound;30,000: "This doesn't make much difference. The only way to get a real increase is move up the ladder. I love being a classroom teacher. But we are being forced out of the classroom."

Debbie Mason, newly qualified PE teacher, 26, earns pound;23,500: "It's better than nothing, but still isn't significant: it's just extra for food, really. My life is non-existent. At the age of 26, I shouldn't be living like that. I love my job, but if I'm on my own, I can't afford to stay in London in teaching."

Elaine Joanne Bowen, head of design and technology, 38, has taught for 12 years and earns pound;32,000: " I could go and work as a design consultant and earn pound;35,000, without the stress and responsibility. We need the same deal as the Metropolitan police: perks such as free transport, and London allowance of pound;6,000."

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