TEACHERS' pay has risen faster than that of either police or social workers since Labour came to power but has still struggled to keep pace with private-sector wages.
Nurses, however, have done better. The weekly wage of teachers, including heads, has increased by an average of 26 per cent since 1997.
Secondary teachers' pay has increased at exactly the same rate as the economy as a whole, with primary teachers losing out slightly.
As would be expected with a graduate profession, teachers earn significantly more than the average wage across the economy (pound;465 per week before tax). In 2002, secondary teachers earned an average of pound;582 per week before tax, compared to pound;538 for those in primary schools, according to the figures from Income Data Services.
But teachers are paid well below the graduate average, according to figures from the National Union of Teachers. They show that the pay gap between teachers and their university friends increases as they get older, a 12 per cent difference in starting salary increases to 30 per cent after just five years.