'Unfair' gulf facing haves and have-nots

23rd March 2001 at 00:00
A WIDE gap has opened up between the best and worst-paid new teachers because of the Government's attempts to tackle the recruitment crisis, classroom leaders warn today.

After three years in the job, some teachers will be up to pound;36,000 better off than others as a result of golden hellos, training salaries and other incentives, the National Union of Teachers said.

The best-paid will be those working in shortage subjects who trained on a postgraduate certificate in education course and have taken jobs in difficult schools.

At the bottom of the pile will be primary teachers and secondary humanities specialists who arrived after a four-year Bachelor of Education degree.

NUT general secretary Doug McAvoy said the variation was unacceptable. "Teachers on BEd courses devote themselves to four years of intensive work, and for all that work they cannot touch the kind of rewards that a rlatively small number of students get for teaching shortage subjects."

PGCE students pay no tuition fees, unlike the pound;1,000 faced by BEd students who take just as long to qualify. PGCE students will also from next year be paid pound;6,000 to train. Ministers are considering extending both incentives to fourth-year BEd students.

Trainees in shortage subjects get an additional "golden hello" of pound;4,000. There are also plans to pay off their student loans worth an average of pound;10,000 each.

Finally, if they take a challenging, hard-to-fill vacancy and stick at it for three years, they can expect a pound;15,000 "golden handcuffs" reward. Final total: pound;36,000 better off.

Some new teachers may have even fatter wallets: the fast-track scheme for gifted graduates promises a further pound;5,000 and the chance to advance up the pay scale in double increments worth up to pound;6,000 over three years.

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