Teachers enraged by 'laughable' pay rise

9th February 2001 at 00:00
The Government has been urged to adopt Scottish pay and conditions, says Sarah Cassidy

Teachers and unions this week dubbed the 3.7 per cent basic pay rise "laughable" and warned it would do nothing to tackle recruitment problems.

They condemned Education Secretary David Blunkett's rejection of an inquiry to tackle excessive workload and limit hours spent in class.

In response to the 3.7 per cent rise, teachers who contacted The TES complained of feeling cheated and said they were looking to quit.

Denise Smith, from New Cross in London, said: "The job of teaching has become more and more demanding. Every month sees another new initiative... The Government should adopt the Scottish pay award now. Teaching is in a real crisis."

Liam Collins, from Coopers school in the London borough of Bromley, said:

"I feel completely cheated. As a NQT, not only did I have to pay for my PGCE (through a loan), but I also miss out on the 9 per cent rise. I feel it's time for the Government to pay back the loans for current teachers.

"As for the 3.7 per cent for me, yes I would like more but I would also like more non-contact time."

The School Teachers Review Body had called for an urgent, independent programme to identify and tackle problems of excessive workload.

Mr Blunkett refused to limit the number of hours that teachers spend in the classroom but would continue the "current drive to reduce paperwork going to schools". A limit on hours "would be unworkable and would not solve the problem", he said.

Teachers' organisations contrasted this with the Scottish settlement which gave teachers a 10 per cent pay rise, and a 35-hour working week with 22.5 hours in the classroom.

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